Victoria is willing to help fund a national crime database to help tackle youth crime, Premier Daniel Andrews says.
“When we get dozens or more young kids playing up from Sydney who are here in Melbourne, if we’ve got a database we’d know about those kids and what their history is, what their status is,” he told reporters on Sunday.
It follows reports in the Herald Sun linking a wild house party at Werribee and brawl at St Kilda last month to a group of basketball players who were in Melbourne for a tournament.
Mr Andrews said he’d be willing to contribute 25 per cent of the funding for federal crime database.
He also did not rule out restricting the use of community corrections orders, which allow offenders to serve their time outside jail, for serious offences.
But the premier did not say which crimes might incur a mandatory jail sentence instead of a CCO.
The intensified debate about youth crime follows a series follows a series of high-profile incidents since early December – including riots, home invasions, armed robberies, assaults and attacks on police – linked to offenders of African appearance.
African community leaders met on Saturday to discuss how they felt “hammered” by media reporting on the issue.
Police have tried to ease tensions, saying there is no crime crisis but “a spike in antisocial behaviour over the summer”.
An African-Australian taskforce was announced on Wednesday police, and on Sunday community leaders joined officers to patrol a shopping centre at Tarneit in Melbourne’s west.
“We know that there is an overrepresentation of crime by some South Sudanese members but we know it’s a small group and we are acting on it,” Acting Superindent Adrian Healy said.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy labelled a national crime database a “tremendous idea”, but said it wasn’t the federal government’s responsibility to fix crime in Melbourne.