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Work, study or jail for Vic teen criminals

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016 Angus Livingston

Teen criminals will have to study or work if they don't want to be sent back to detention under proposed Victorian youth control orders.

In another change aimed at tackling teenage crime, adults could be jailed for up to 10 years under a new offence of "procuring young people to commit offences".

Legislation is expected to be introduced early next year.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday announced the crackdown to tackle a youth crime wave that's seen a spike in home invasions and car thefts committed by teenagers.

"These comprehensive reforms will hold young offenders to account and help keep Victorians safe," Mr Andrews told reporters.

The youth control orders will include curfews and ban offenders from associating with certain people.

"They would be required to attend school or training or a job, there would be specific conditions placed on them to make sure they are not a risk to the community," Mr Andrews said.

"Hopefully that is seen as an opportunity to rebuild their lives."

If teenagers don't comply with the control orders they can be returned into custody.

The new offence of "procuring young people to commit offences" will attract a 10-year maximum sentence. It's been dubbed "Fagin's Law" after a character in the novel Oliver Twist.

"We're targeting older, experienced criminals who prey on young people to do their dirty work," Attorney-General Martin Pakula said.

Mr Pakula also announced the maximum sentence for youths would be increased to four years, from three years, for serious crimes.

Further there'd be more opportunities for children's court cases to be kicked up to the adult courts.

The premier announced on Sunday that Victoria will recruit more than 2700 police to handle its growing crime problem.

Mr Andrews also said the government was leaning towards building a new youth prison on a greenfield site, as opposed to rebuilding the Parkville detention facility, which was trashed in recent riots.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy said the package of new laws duplicated laws the state already had, and were a token effort to improve the state's youth crime crisis.

"Daniel Andrews speaks like Dirty Harry on law and order, but he acts like Mary Poppins," Mr Guy told reporters.

"His actions don't match the rhetoric."

But Mr Guy said the opposition would support the legislation when it comes to parliament in 2017.

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