NSW Police are targeting minority groups with a secret blacklist. The Suspect Target Management Plan (STMP) is a police list that identifies people who police believe are at risk of committing an offence in the future. 55% of STMP targets are Aboriginal and almost half are under the age of 25. Children as young as 9 years old have been placed on the STMP! Why does a program like this even exist?
Impact on Young People
Young people listed on the STMP are constantly harassed by police without a reasonable justification. In one case a 16 year old was stopped and searched 23 times in 10 months. Police records justifying the searches included ridiculous grounds such as the fact that he was wearing Nautica brand clothing, and that people who wear Nautica “are known to commit criminal damage”. Police are targeting young people who present no risk to the community. Rather than focusing on the diversion and rehabilitation of young people, the STMP increases young people’s contact with the criminal justice system with no observable impact on crime prevention. It has a damaging impact on young people and their families especially when police officers are routinely entering and searching homes without any lawful justification to do so.
Discriminative on Indigenous Communities
The STMP is targeting people from Indigenous backgrounds with more than half of the people on the list coming from these communities. That means that there are almost 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across NSW that are subject to stop and searches by police on a routine basis. Indigenous communities are being overpoliced and overrepresented when Indigenous crime rates are in fact going down! This racially targeted policing needs to stop.
Lack of transparency and issues of procedural fairness
What makes the STMP even worse is the fact that there is no transparency over the criteria for being included on the list and it is unclear how risk categorisation is allocated. This means that a person is targeted by police without even being formally notified that they are on the list. There is no method to confirm. There is no method to appeal. People simply are subjected to police abuse without any method of recourse. Some of these people are still in primary school, and many have no criminal history. These people should be allowed to live their life without constant police interference.
If you think that you are listed on the STMP and want to seek legal advice give us a call on (02) 9261 4281.