Member for the Agricultural Region, Hon Paul Brown MLC, has welcomed the introduction of tough new mandatory minimum jail terms for home invasions.
Police Minister Liza Harvey introduced legislation to tighten mandatory sentencing laws for serial burglars and serious home invaders on March 12.
“People have a right to feel safe in their own homes and these laws will send a strong message to those who take that right away,” Mr Brown said.
Mr Brown attended a community forum on crime in Geraldton on Saturday which was attended by Minister Harvey and senior members of WA Police.
The forum was held in response to a march through the Geraldton CBD last month organised by community group Geraldton Residents Demand Our Streets Back.
Speaking at the forum, Mr Brown said he supported the introduction of the legislation and commended the Minister for taking the concerns of the community seriously, whilst also opposing any form of vigilante action that community members proposed.
“Members of the public who have been victims of home invasions or would like to share concerns regarding this legislation should contact my office so that I am able to convey their concerns to my parliamentary colleagues,” he said.
“There have been reports of community members planning to take the law into their own hands.
“I strongly urge them to abandon any form of planned or ad hoc vigilante action and let changes to this legislation remove repeat and violent offenders from the community.”
The new legislation mandates minimum jail terms of 75 per cent of the maximum available for an adult offender who commits serious physical or sexual assaults in the course of a home burglary, meaning:
- An offender who breaks into a house and violently rapes someone will face a minimum of 15 years jail;
- An offender who breaks into a house and seriously physically assaults someone will face a minimum of 7.5 years jail;
- An offender who breaks into a house and indecently assaults someone in aggravated circumstances will face a minimum of 5.25 years jail;
- A mandatory three-year minimum period of detention will apply to juveniles aged 16 and above who commit serious offences of physical or sexual violence in the course of a home invasion.
- A mandatory minimum jail term of two years will apply to adult offenders convicted of committing three home burglaries on different days, while juveniles will be subject to a mandatory minimum of 12 months detention in the same circumstances.