Police Commissioner calls bulls--t on child protection stolen generation claims

WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has called for the threshold to remove children from dysfunctional families to be lowered.

WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has again lobbied to lower the threshold for children to be taken away from extremely dysfunctional families, labelling claims he was advocating for another stolen generation as "bullshit".

Speaking on Radio 6PR on Monday, the state's top cop said there were around 100 families in the Perth metropolitan area that needed significant wrap-around services and support to give the children any hope of a "normal life".

"I don't buy this bullshit about the stolen generation," he said.

"Every time I've come out in the paper over the last few years and said we should lower the threshold, some of the most prominent people around Perth jump up and say you're advocating another stolen generation.

"These kids are already having their lives stolen, any chance they have of being normal community members is being stolen already."

Mr O'Callaghan was responding to comments he made in the past about a family study police undertook into two Perth children, born in 1998.

The boy and girl, Sally* and Jim*, in 2013, had in their maternal family line, more than 3000 offences between around 30 or 40 family members.

Since the initial study, it has since been revealed the boy was responsible for the death of a young baby.

"We know that these kids are high risk, we know that they're a problem, we know they've got absolutely no chance with a family like that and the extended family," Mr O'Callaghan said.

"We don't have sufficient policies to deal with that level of dysfunction and there are about 100 families like that which you might call extreme high risk in the metropolitan area.

"The community needs to get involved because these kids - this boy, this girl - will be sitting next to your girl and your boy at school, they'll be sharing the playground with your boys and girls, they'll be sharing your streets, they'll be breaking into your houses, they'll be breaking into your cars, they'll be causing general havoc."

The issue, according to Mr O'Callaghan, was multiplying as families grew, with many of the problems identifiable early on.

"If you look at Sally and Jim's parents and you look at their criminal records, both sets of parents have got extensive criminal records for violence, for family violence, for drug usage, and we knew when those kids were born in 1998 what the criminal record of their parents are, but we have no mechanism for saying to the authorities, 'these parents have got a long history of violence, they've just had a baby, you need to flag that child and what happens'," he said.

"We've got to do something about those kids and we've got to do something about breaking that cycle."

Mr O'Callaghan, when asked how a change could be actioned, said it was the responsibly of authorities and the community to reconsider how dysfunctional families are assisted.

"People that advocate that stronger punishments are going to be the answer to sorting out these kids are never going to get to the root of the problem," he said.

"You're talking about 4,500 kids in care, there should be probably another couple of thousand that should not be at home, but the capacity to move those kids into some sort of care... is limited and the community at some stage are going to have to help with this is we're going to solve the situation."

Source : http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/police-commissioner-calls-bullst-on-child-protection-stolen-generation-claims-20161121-gsu2co.html

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