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A petition asking government to introduce heavier sentencing for armed robbery offenders is being organised
A petition asking government to introduce heavier sentencing for armed robbery offenders is being organised

Jewellers petition for stricter robbery penalties

The Victorian branch of the Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) has organised a petition calling upon the state government to introduce heavier sentencing for people committing armed robberies.

JAA Victoria state committee chair Michael Oboler and vice chair John Michaelis said they were aiming to gain 40,000 signatures for a petition that would ask the Andrews Labor government to “match the coalition policy and introduce mandatory sentencing, toughen up the justice system and hold criminals to account”.

Michael Oboler, JAA Victoria and Tasmania state committee chair
"The more people we can get collecting signatures, the better"
Michael Oboler, JAA Victoria state committee chair

Oboler explained that jewellers should print the petition and encourage customers to sign the form. Retailers were also asked to give the petition to other businesses in their local areas.

“The chemist is as much at risk as the person selling electrical goods or any one of those things. The more people we can get collecting signatures, the better,” Oboler said.

The petition is in light of the spate of jewellery store attacks in the past year. Statistics by Australia’s Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) showed there were 135 total offences at jewellery locations across Victoria between April 2016 and March 2017. This figure included 19 armed robberies, five attempted armed robberies, 39 burglaries and 15 attempted burglaries.

By comparison, CSA data between April 2015 and March 2016 showed no armed robberies or attempted robberies.

Tough on crime

Oboler said the JAA Victorian branch had been active in helping jewellers to thwart armed robberies by providing training and information; however, there were pitfalls in the justice system.

“One of the things that became clear early on was that we were dealing with a big problem in terms of the police being able to do their job successfully,” Oboler explained. “They were identifying and catching culprits and putting them before the courts but these kids were being released to commit further crimes. Some of the offenders had been indicted for up to five attacks.”

After multiple failed attempts to receive government assistance, Oboler said the JAA looked for other methods to assist in the prevention of armed attacks and the introduction of stronger laws. 

“We started talking to people and this idea of putting a petition into parliament, to one of the parliamentarians who was prepared to listen to us, got together.”

Signatures need to be returned via post to Georgina Crozier, representative for Southern Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council of Victoria. Crozier would be responsible for tabling the change in parliament.

Michaelis said the signed petition must be sent in its original form rather than photocopied or faxed.

The petition can be accessed and printed here.

More reading
Vic police, JAA pledge clampdown on Melbourne jewellery attacks
Holloway Diamonds thwarts armed robbery with tight security
Michael Hill jewellers hit by 20-second armed robbery
Police, jewellery industry combat armed attacks
Melbourne jewellery stores under attack




















Monday, 20 November, 2017 02:50pm
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