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14-Year-Old Gang Member Arrested for Near-Fatal Student Abduction in Melbourne, Highlighting Youth Crime Surge

A 14-year-old boy hailing from the Frankston area has been apprehended in connection with the abduction and assault of another 14-year-old student in Glen Eira on Monday, Sept. 4. The incident left the boy with critical injuries after he was forcibly taken and later thrown from a moving car.

Victoria Police Inspector Scott Dwyer confirmed police have successfully identified all individuals involved in the assault and anticipate making additional arrests shortly.

In addition to the abduction case, authorities are probing another armed robbery that occurred in the same vicinity shortly before the abduction, exploring potential links between the two incidents. The robbery involved four students being robbed by two unidentified offenders armed with machetes.

Details of the Abduction

On Sept. 4, a 14-year-old year nine student from Glen Eira College was walking home when he encountered unknown offenders who forced him into a vehicle on Neerim Rd in Glen Huntly. Shortly thereafter, the teenager tumbled out of the moving car near the Grange Rd intersection and was subsequently rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

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The student is currently at the Royal Children’s Hospital with life-altering head and abdominal injuries, and it is understood he was run over when he was thrown from the car. According to the boy’s father, he has suffered facial injuries and had “blood coming out of his nose and ears.”

Worsening Youth Crime in Melbourne

Inspector Dwyer said the number of Victorian youth offenders aged 10-17 is rising, with police monitoring 598 youth gang members across 44 gangs.

The most recent Crime Statistics Agency report indicates an 11 percent increase in youth offending by individuals aged 10-17 in the year leading up to March 2023, compared to the previous year. Notably, the age of offenders is decreasing, with a staggering 54 percent surge in the number of 10–14-year-old offenders in 2023.

Of grave concern is the escalation in the severity of offences, as aggravated home burglaries have risen by 30 percent, with the primary age group involved falling between 15-17 years old. Assault-related crimes involving children aged 10-17 have also increased by double digits over the same period, with “crimes against the person” committed by youths rising by a significant 21 percent.

Community Outcry

The community has expressed outrage over the incident, with numerous Melbournians taking to social media platforms such as Reddit and X (formerly Twitter) to voice their concerns.

A prevailing sentiment is the call for stricter laws to act as deterrents for youth offenders, with a focus on removing the most dangerous individuals from the streets. User Jennifer Brock on X stated, “The politicians and police won’t protect your children. This is where parents must get serious.”

Others have raised concerns about a perceived leniency in the justice system, advocating for harsher punishments for youth offenders.

“Even if the Police find the offenders, they’ll get bail, then if they go to court, the magistrate will give them a community order, and they’ll be out on the street to repeat offend. Absolutely no deterrent and the young thugs must be laughing at how soft the Australian court system is,” X user Peter Bremner commented.

One popular post on Reddit also suggested that jailing the offenders was ineffective and that society was to blame as it failed to take necessary measures earlier in a youth offender’s life to stop their crimes from escalating.

“Demanding carceral solutions is shutting the gate when the horse has bolted,” Reddit User u/pk666 argued.

“You think that kid who has been badly injured will really feel any sense of betterment about sentencing for their attacker from 1 year to 10? You think the kids doing these crimes think about consequences?” They proposed investment in child protection officers, family social workers, improved mental health services, a raise in the JobKeeper rate, and housing stability as potential solutions to address the root causes of youth crime.”

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