A report released today from BOCSAR regarding the NSW Police’s Suspect Target Management Program (STMP) seeks to justify its appalling racial bias against First Nations people by reference to alleged modest reductions in property crime.
STMP is a police program that targets First nations people at more than 10 times the rate of non First Nations communities. It relies on aggressive over policing with constant stops and searches of people identified by police. It is entirely created by NSW Police and has no basis in legislation.
The study used a limited data set that only followed young people for 12 months after being placed on the list, and failed to consider the large body of evidence that shows early involvement in the criminal justice system has life-long negative impacts on First Nations people.
Greens MP and spokesperson for Justice David Shoebridge said:
“This is a racially biased program that is aimed directly at First Nations people.
“Whatever minor impact this program may have on reducing property crime it is overwhelmed by the negative impact it has on First Nations people.
“We hear over and over again from First Nations people that they feel like they’re living in an open air prison, we hear from First Nations parents anxious that their children are being targeted, abused and assaulted by police.
“STMP is entirely a creature of the NSW Police, it has no legislative support and is a program almost designed to abuse marginal people’s human rights.
“The study itself acknowledged that the program might cause an increase in offending for First Nations people and suggests this can be avoided by consultation with Aboriginal elders in deciding who should be targeted by the program.
“It is a bizarre suggestion from BOCSAR that Aboriginal elders work with police to help them target members of their community for police harassment.
“To bring down the rate of crime we need to end the over-policing of marginalised communities and divert funding away from policing to alleviating poverty,” Mr Shoebridge said.