ON WEDNESDAY the Government announced it would deliver on its election commitment to toughen up the State’s home invasion laws.
Police Minister Liza Harvey said she would introduce legislation to tighten mandatory sentencing laws for serial burglars and impose the toughest penalties in Australia for serious home invasions.
“We must make the victims of home burglaries the priority, the people who have their houses broken into repeatedly, or worse, those who have been attacked and assaulted during a home invasion,” she said.
“We all have the right to feel safe and be safe in our own homes.”
Ms Harvey said the legislation mandated minimum jail terms of 75 per cent of the maximum available for an adult offender who committed serious physical or sexual assaults in the course of a home burglary.
- An offender who breaks into a house and violently rapes someone will face a minimum of 15 years jail.
- An offender who breaks into a house and seriously physically assaults someone will face a minimum of seven years, six months jail.
- An offender who breaks into a house and indecently assaults someone in aggravated circumstances will face a minimum of five years, three months jail.
A three-year mandatory minimum period of detention will apply to juveniles aged 16 and above who commit serious offences of physical or sexual violence in the course of a home invasion.
Attorney General Michael Mischin said the Government’s amendments would bring the punishment for home burglaries more into line with community expectations.
The changes would include reforming the counting rules to calculate burglary ‘strikes’.
“The three strikes rule was introduced in 1996 to ensure that repeat offenders would not avoid imprisonment,” he said.
“However, the counting rules meant that sometimes multiple burglaries committed over several days would count as only one strike.
“That will no longer be the case.
“Third strike adult offenders will be sentenced to a minimum of two years imprisonment.
“It is important that people feel secure in their homes and that those who invade their sanctuary are punished for doing so.”