- Peter Dutton warns more young people will be deported from Australia for crime
- Minister said the recent deportations of alleged Apex members was a start
- Would not rule out ‘benchmark being lowered’ to include offenders under 18
- Four young criminals with alleged links to Apex have already had visas cancelled
- Three of the men are from New Zealand and a fourth is Sudanese
- Henry Robati has already been returned to his home country
- The remaining three are in jail and are appealing their visa cancellations
Teenagers with links to Melbourne’s notorious African Apex gang will have their visas cancelled and be sent to their home country as the department of immigration prepares to crack down on youth crime in Victoria.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton spoke to Melbourne radio station 3AW and revealed he would not rule out deporting children as young as 16 from Australia for serious crimes if they didn’t start ‘respecting Australians’.
‘I think this should send a very clear message to these people that if they cherish the life that they lead her in Australia they need to start respecting Australians,’ Dutton said.
The ex-policeman said he sympathised with Melbourne residents and police who have become frustrated with young offenders being granted bail after every offence.
‘I know police feel the frustration here as well, when they have one hand tied behind their back by what is a pretty week law and order agenda,’ Dutton said.
The explosive interview was held after four young men with alleged ties to the gang had their visas cancelled so they could be deported at the completion of their current jail sentences.
‘We need to send a very clear message to these people that breaking into people’s homes to steal keys, or following people or ransacking small businesses – is unacceptable,’ Dutton said.
Dutton said he wanted people to come to Australia for ‘the right reasons’ and said allowing immigrants to keep ‘biting the hand that feeds them’ is not the way he wants to ‘run migration’.
‘A lot of them (offenders) are under 18 a lot of them are in family circumstances which need to be examined. We need to understand why children of 12 or 3 years of age of any nationality are roaming the streets of Melbourne or any capital city anywhere in Australia,’ he said.
And while the minister said Australia ‘does not deport children’ he did reveal a committee is looking into the possibility of cancelling the visas of offenders under the age of 18.
‘It is very difficult to deport children and this is one of the things Jason Wood’s committee is having a look at, at the moment, whether for example the bar could be lowered from 18 to 17 or 16 or whatever the case may be.
‘I think we have to look at different issues and different responses and if people can make the case there are sensible changes which should be supported the government will support them.’
Dutton also slammed the state government for not doing enough to detour ‘repeat offenders’ from committing the ‘same crime’ over again.
‘If you have people who are repeat offenders same crimes responsibility on the parents, community and predominately state government to address that.’
‘The gang violence is present here in Victoria and I think the Victorian government needs to do more than what they have done in recent months or years.’
Dutton said Australian citizenship is a ‘prized reward’ and anyone who wishes to obtain it needs to prove they will be a ‘good citizen’ and will target people who will make Australia better.
‘In the end this country has been made great by migration because people have come here – in many cases trying to escape the ravages of war, civil war, of unrest of conflict, terrorism, and they want to come to a country that is safe.’
The minister said his office is currently ‘looking into other people’ whose visa may soon be revoked as part of the tough new strategy.
‘There’s obviously been a lot of work with federal police and my department – Australia border force to try to identify people who may have committed crimes.
‘(These people) may be members of gangs and we have a cancellation power under the migration act which means if people have been doing the wrong thing if they are here on a visa we can cancel that visa and deport them.’
Dutton said recent action against New Zealand man Henry Robati, 19, and Sudanese national Issac Gatkuoth, 19, is ‘certainly the start of more’ action against young thugs committing crime ‘against Australians’.
Gatkouth – who is appealing the decision to have his visa revoked – was in a stolen BMW with four others when they followed another car and rammed it from behind in Frankston, the Victorian Country Court heard last year.
Gatkuoth, wearing a smiley mask, walked up to the driver and pointed a sawn-off shotgun at his head while ordering him to hand over his keys.
The teen, who denied being an Apex member, had plead guilty to armed robbery and being a prohibited person carrying a firearm.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Peter Dutton’s office for comment.
H/t reader kevin a.