Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Dutton, Cash, Coleman – Media Release – Cracking Down on Youth Crime and Online Notoriety

Joint Media Release

Melbourne, Victoria


Youth crime is out of control in many parts of our country and more needs to be done to combat it.

Today we announce that the Federal Coalition will seek to crack down on youth crime by making it illegal to post social media material that glamorises violence and criminal activity.

We will also provide the eSafety Commissioner with specific powers to require such videos and material to be taken down.

It is time to get serious on young criminals who seek to highlight their criminal activity on social media. Sadly, the problem is getting worse.

The Federal Government has a role to play here and it is incumbent on the Government to show some leadership and play its part in cracking down on this behaviour which glamorises violence and keeps the cycle of crime going.

We are putting forward a proposal today to deal with this scourge.

We need to do all we can to keep our community safe and deter young criminals from doing the wrong thing. We call on the Government to support us in this regard.

To this end, next week in the Parliament, the Coalition will be introducing a private member’s bill that will:

  • Introduce a new Commonwealth offence to deal with the increasing use of social media to promote or publicise criminal activity. In particular, the Bill will make it an offence to post material depicting violence, drug offences or property offences for the purpose of increasing a person’s notoriety (or that of the persons shown in the material), punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment.
  • Include a sentencing measure in the Crimes Act to ensure that as part of the sentencing process, courts are able to prohibit persons who have been convicted of the new offence from using social media for up to two years.
  • Amend the Online Safety Act to specifically empower the eSafety Commissioner to order the removal of such videos from social media and other digital platforms. Currently, the eSafety Commissioner has to rely on the cooperation of social media companies to achieve this. The changes we are proposing would make it explicit that the Commissioner has a mandate to deal with complaints on this issue, in a similar way that the office responds to reports of cyber-bullying and cyber-abuse.

This is an important policy reform and we call on the Government to support it.

This is a commonsense proposal that seeks to address this worrying trend.

There are too many instances of social media being a key factor in glorifying youth crime for this practical proposal to be ignored.

We acknowledge and thank Mr Garth Hamilton MP who has assiduously promoted this policy in his electorate and in the parliament. His advocacy in bringing this policy idea to fruition is to be commended.

Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Attorney-General, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Shadow Minister for Communications