“Part of the future is a close working relationship with the RLPA. Clint Newton is the right CEO to partner with the ARLC/NRL to grow the game.”
The focus at Rugby League Central will turn to harsher deterrents to curb off-field incidents after a string of negative headlines during the off season. To that end, the current maximum fine of $50,000 is expected to increase by at least double, with the issue set to be an agenda topic at next week’s scheduled ARLC meeting.
“We want to send a message that it’s a privilege to play in the NRL,” V’landys said. “When you play in the NRL you are a role model and need to act accordingly.
“I want to stress that 99 per cent of footballers do the right thing. I don’t want every player tarnished. We’re not doing this for the 99 per cent, we’re doing this for the one per cent that let the 99 per cent down.
“The players I’ve been involved with are great people, they do things like going to kids cancer wards and never look for any publicity.
“That’s all tarnished by that one percent.”
The NRL handed NSW and Broncos prop Payne Haas a $50,000 fine, as well as a three-game suspension, for verbally abusing police last month. However, players face the prospect of paying an even bigger price in the future if they run into trouble off the field.
During the NRL-RLPA dispute, the arbitrator ruled that the governing body can change any of its rules as it sees fit, so long as the conditions brokered under the collective bargaining agreement remained intact.
“I don’t care what anyone says, no one likes losing money. No one likes being fined,” V’landys said. “We don’t have to go to the maximum, but we need to have something there that will be a pretty big deterrent.”
The NRL is close to announcing a sanction for Corey Norman after the Dragons playmaker was involved in a fight in a Cronulla laneway last month. A punishment will be handed down before a new maximum fine is introduced.
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Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.
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Cricket Australia has confirmed Indian players were racially abused during the third Test at the SCG, but says it does not yet know who was responsible.
CA says a group of spectators who received media coverage on day four were not involved in any racist behaviour
CA Investigators are still trying to identify those responsible for the racist abuse
NSW Police says it has concluded its investigation with no evidence to support any prosecutions
Senior Indian players spoke to officials after day three of the Sydney Test and an official complaint was lodged over alleged abuse received by Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.
A second alleged incident on day four led to play being halted for nine minutes after Siraj spoke to umpires about comments from the crowd.
Cricket Australia (CA) launched an investigation after day four.
On Wednesday, CA released an update, saying it had submitted a report to the International Cricket Council into crowd behaviour at the SCG.
“CA confirms that members of the Indian cricket team were subjected to racial abuse (at the SCG),” the organisation’s head of integrity and security, Sean Carroll, said in a statement.
“CA’s own investigation into the matter remains open, with CCTV footage, ticketing data and interviews with spectators still being analysed in an attempt to locate those responsible.
“Spectators who are found to have breached CA’s anti-harassment code face lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police.”
However, Cricket Australia said its investigators had concluded a number of spectators who were filmed and photographed by the media near the end of play on day four were not involved in racist behaviour.
CA apologised to the Indian team as hosts of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.
NSW Police also issued a statement on Tuesday, referring to its own investigation of complaints from India.
“About 3pm on 10 January 2021, a cricketer indicated to match officials racially based comments had been made towards him,” the statement said.
“A number of males were spoken with at the time.
“Since 10 January police have continued inquiries, speaking with several people allegedly involved, as well as a number of witnesses who were present in the area at the time.”
“Police found no evidence to support any prosecution for any offence.
“As such the police investigation has been finalised.
“However, should anyone possess information which would support any such allegation, that should be brought to the attention of police.”
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POLICE Dog Yogi showed his prowess in tracking down alleged offenders and helped to keep the Northern Rivers safe once again.
Officers from Richmond Police District will allege that shortly after midnight on Monday, January 4, a number of young persons had gained access to a property on Stapleton Ave, Casino, where they stole personal items, including car keys belonging to the 91-year-old male occupant.
The youths aged 13 and 16 allegedly stole the occupants vehicle and left it unattended in Summerland Way, Casino.
Police located the vehicle a short time later where they established a perimeter and called for the assistance of the Police Dog Unit.
Police Dog Yogi picked up the scent and took his handler on an extensive track which led straight to the young persons.
The young persons were arrested and taken to Casino Police Station to be charged.
The 16-year-old was charged with offences including aggravated enter dwelling, Take and Drive conveyance without consent of owner, Possess housebreaking implements, Never licensed person drive vehicle on road, and larceny.
He has been Bail refused and set to appear before Casino Children’s Court on January 13, 2021.
The 13-year-old was charged with Aggravated enter dwelling, Larceny, and Be carried in conveyance taken without consent of owner.
He was granted conditional bail and set to appear again before Casino Children’s Court on the January 20.
Officers thanked Police Dog Yogi for his invaluable assistance.
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Police have arrested 58 people over the holidays in the Darwin region alone, during a crackdown on domestic violence following a 17 per cent spike in order breaches in the Northern Territory during 2020.
NT Police used their data to identify offenders and conducted 226 patrols to known hotspots
58 people were arrested over the three-week operation targeting domestic violence
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the Northern Territory has the nation’s highest victimisation rate for family and domestic violence-related offences
Operation Sherman was run by NT Police from December 14 until January 3 and resulted in 48 new domestic violence orders (DVOs) being served and 118 victim support assessments.
Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Warren Scott led the operation and said police targeted “repeat and high-risk domestic violence offenders”.
“We need to try and educate these offenders on the responsibilities in regards to DVOs,” he said.
During the operation, one 25-year-old man received 11 charges following two domestic violence incidents — including threat to kill, aggravated assault and going armed in public.
Charges were also laid against a 53-year-old man on New Year’s Eve after a woman was stabbed in an attack that left her with a punctured her lung and significant blood loss.
Senior Sergeant Scott said the operation used police data to identify repeat domestic violence offenders and victims so they could visit them at their homes.
He said they had conducted 226 patrols of known “hotspots”, which included residential addresses and public areas.
“With going to the residential addresses, it’s not just purely for DVO compliance. We are also there to try and provide education, check on people’s welfare and try to encompass quite a few things in the one visit,” he said.
“There are arrest targets for serious DV-related offending, [and for] people with outstanding domestic violence warrants and the service of domestic violence orders.”
Local shelter ‘absolutely at capacity’
Senior Sergeant Scott said Aboriginal community police officers were also providing local organisations education and training on how to provide support and refer people on to the correct services.
It is something that is sorely needed, according to the team at the local women and children’s shelter.
Dawn House Women and Children’s Shelter team leader Nicky Fearn said they had been stretched trying to cope with demand over the past few months.
“We have noticed there has been a spike in demand for accommodation, domestic violence order legal issues, medical issues. Everything thing has become more intense.”
Severity of injuries worsening
Ms Fearn said shelter staff were also concerned by the worsening severity of injuries.
“We’ve been getting a higher number of referrals from Royal Darwin Hospital where the injuries have been really significant and also from remote communities where the degree of injury has been very high,” she said.
Ms Fearn said police action to ensure compliance with DVO’s was necessary and that victims needed the orders put in place quickly and efficiently.
“The police need to follow up all breaches swiftly, otherwise there is no point,” she said.
“The rate of homicides really needs to be reduced so any initiatives or education is of benefit.”
Senior Sergeant Scott said the police were out in force over the holiday period.
“This time of year is renowned for people having a drink, and having quite a few drinks, but the evidence shows that excessive alcohol consumption is a driver and contributing factor for domestic violence,” he said.
“You can call police on 131 444, call triple-0 in an emergency. You can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or 1800 RESPECT.”
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The most recent research from women’s advocacy peak body WESNET shows that since 2015, there has been an increase in women reporting violence by messaging services and even reports of victims’ myGov accounts being misused.
This comes along with the domestic offenders increasingly using GPS trackers and surveillance cameras to monitor their victims, with support workers saying technology-based abuse has escalated over the course of the pandemic.
This report is co-authored by researchers from WESNET, Curtin University and the University of New England. They have surveyed 442 support workers from around the country who specializes in helping victims of family and sexual violence.
As reported, women were victims in 92 per cent of the case they have encountered thus far.
In addition, respondents were asked how often they saw certain types of offending. It reveals that in 2020, nearly one in three frontline workers said they saw victims tracked with GPS apps or devices “all the time”. This is alarming, provided that five years ago, only 8 per cent of workers saw that type of abuse so often.
Surveillance camera misuse was seen “all the time” or “often” by 42 per cent of support workers in 2020, up from 16 per cent in 2015. According to WESNET Chief Executive, Karen Bentley “those devices are much cheaper and easier to get than five years ago and they’re providing much higher quality images.”
More so, one of the respondents told researchers that police had discovered surveillance cameras hidden in a roof, which were discovered after a couple separated. Another one revealed that during the pandemic there was an increase in “perpetrators installing cameras to observe and watch a woman while at home and using listening devices”.
This sophisticated technology has paved a way for perpetrators and made it difficult for the victims to escape abuse. Despite the physical space between themselves and their attackers, the victims could find one’s self in an inevitable situation.
“Once perpetrators lose physical control, they start looking for other options, and technology makes it possible,” Ms Bentley said.
Adding to the statistics, nearly 97 per cent of support workers said they saw victims abused over email, text or instant messaging services, while a similar number were harassed in phone calls. Meanwhile, support workers also noted a surge in the number of victims being forced into sharing their account and device passwords with abusers.
Over the course of the pandemic, Ms Bentley cited some very alarming cases. For example, last week, a Victorian woman told ABC Radio Melbourne she had fled to work on a regional farm due to fears her phones and computers were being tracked by a stalker she believed to be her ex-partner.
Chief Executive of Domestic Violence Victoria and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, Tanie Farha, emphasized that some victims had suffered more intense and prolonged abuse during 2020. Even others are reporting first-time family violence.
Given the figures, it is imperative that with the surge of violence taking place help should be provided with utter necessity.
A BALLINA man who stole a car carrying a sleeping baby has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Brandon Kelly Ames was sentenced in February to stealing a motor vehicle, unlawfully taking and driving a motor vehicle with a person in it, using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, driving a motor vehicle while disqualified and shoplifting with the value less than $2000.
He had previously been disqualified from driving until May 2040.
Court documents revealed Ames had stolen a parked idle car outside a Lismore store after he stole a bottle of drink from the same store last December.
The 25-year-old drove off with the vehicle, unaware there was a 12-month-old child sleeping in a baby seat in the back seat.
The child was not harmed during the ordeal.
Ames was sentenced in February to two years imprisonment, to commence on June 20, with a non-parole period of 18 months.
He tried to appeal the conviction, but the decision was upheld in the Lismore District Court in May.
A BANORA Point man had only been pulled over for unlicensed driving an hour before leading police on a car chase in the Tweed.
Brodin James Sorrensen-Moate appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court in July to plead guilty to four charges over the police pursuit, driving while suspended, possessing a prohibited drug and drug driving.
Police tried to pull the 20-year-old over after he was seen speeding southbound at 135km/h in a 110km/h zone at Chinderah on the Pacific Hwy on May 2 about 9.30pm.
The small sedan sped up to about 150km/h when the driver saw the police car, turning off the car headlights when police turned on their lights and sirens.
Police later found the car bogged on the left shoulder of the road after the Tweed Valley Way exit ramp.
Unknown to police at the time, Sorrensen-Moate had been stopped an hour beforehand and issued several infringements for being an unaccompanied learner driver.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy convicted Sorrensen-Moate and handed down a head sentence of a two-year community corrections order, 100 hours of community service, 12-month licence disqualification and $600 in fines.
The family of an 11-year-old girl who took her own life after a police decision to grant her alleged abuser bail is demanding answers.
An early assessment indicates bail should have been opposed, police say
The girl self-harmed earlier this week and her life support was turned off on Tuesday
Authorities are investigating what supports were in place for the child
The man is facing six charges of indecent dealing and five counts of sexual penetration of a child under 13 between 2014 and 2020.
After being charged, the alleged offender was granted police bail.
He faced court six days later, where bail was again not opposed.
Regional Assistant Police Commissioner Jo McCabe said an early assessment of the case indicated police bail should not have been granted.
“In general, bail is considered on a case by case basis and aligned with the bail act, however an early assessment of this case, and the seriousness of the offences, tells me that police bail should have been opposed and not considered,” she said.
“This will ultimately be a matter for the coroner, but I’m here today to say that WA Police will take ownership of any issues where we can improve to prevent something like this occurring again.”
Assistant Commissioner McCabe also said police were alerted on Tuesday to a suggestion the offender had breached his bail conditions.
“At this point in time we’re working with the family,” she said.
“As we speak now, the family are with us and we’re discussing those matters to identify whether there was in fact a breach.”
When asked what support the girl and her family had received, Assistant Commissioner McCabe said, as with all sensitive matters involving children, referrals had been provided to “a number of areas” to support the victim and family with “wraparound” services.
The girl self-harmed earlier this week, and her life support was turned off on Tuesday.
Communities Minister Simone McGurk said it was now a priority to find out what supports were in place for the girl and what went wrong.
“It will be my priority within the department to understand what they knew when, and what supports were in place,” she said.
“If the supports were not adequate, what more we can do?”
Health Minister Roger Cook said the Government was likely to review the handling of the case.
“My understanding is there was an element of counselling and some supports that were available, so we need to look at if that was appropriate,” he said.
A clear ‘systemic failure’: Opposition
Opposition health spokesman Zak Kirkup said the case showed systemic failures in WA.
“When we see the scale of Aboriginal youth suicide in Western Australia, it’s very clear there is a systemic failure in our state,” he said.
“I think something needs to be done very significantly as a response from the Government in relation to this.”
The government introduced the bill last September to impose mandatory minimum penalties for certain Commonwealth child sex offences and amend the Crimes Act to insert a presumption against bail for certain Commonwealth child sex offenders, among other changes.
The Labor Party platform opposes mandatory sentencing out of concern that judges have flexibility to impose sentences as they see fit, but this has left Labor exposed to Mr Dutton’s claims that the party was soft on perpetrators of crimes against children.
In a pragmatic decision, the Labor caucus voted unanimously on Tuesday morning to support the government bill even if it could not be amended to remove the mandatory sentencing provisions.
Labor legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus told MPs they should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good and should not block the bill if it included mandatory sentences.
While a series of MPs spoke on the matter and emphasised the party platform and the independence of the judiciary, the caucus voted for the motion to back the bill.
Mr Dutton accused Labor of trying to stop the changes in the Senate on Monday night when Labor and others sought to amend the bill to remove the mandatory sentencing.
“We wanted to introduce minimum mandatory sentencing for paedophiles, and you opposed it. You opposed it,” Mr Dutton told Question Time.
Mr Dutton cited The Daily Telegraph to back his argument, but Labor denied his claims and accused him in turn of misleading Parliament.
“Claiming that members voted in a different way to how they did is dishonest,” said Labor workplace spokesman Tony Burke, the manager of Opposition business in the House of Representatives.
“The minister should withdraw and should not be allowed to continue with an answer that he knows is not true.”
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill was amended in the Senate on Monday night but the government said it would reject those changes.
The government will insist the bill proceeds in its original form, including the mandatory sentencing provisions, and this will force Labor to decide whether to accept the bill on the government’s terms in the lower house.
Given the decision of the Labor caucus on Tuesday morning, the government can expect to pass the bill in its original form when it chooses to put it to the House.
David Crowe is chief political correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.