Teenage Curfews in Australia - a Letter to the Prime Minister

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Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to you in disapproval of the youth curfew that is to be imposed. The law states that the youth under the age of 18 in Sydney, Australia are not able to go outside during the hours of 7.30pm to 5.30am unless accompanied by an adult. As a young citizen of Australia, I strongly object to this as I am worried about the end result it will have on the teens of Sydney. I definitely know that enforcing a teenage curfew in Australia will be useless and ineffective as restricting teens rights is completely unfair. Firstly, the implementation of this law will mean police are given a bigger responsibility of taking their time re-enforcing the law instead of focusing on real crime. Furthermore, the government would be punishing non-criminal behaviour forcing every teen to stay inside. Finally, companies will lose consumers as all the youth will be forced to stay inside after 7.30pm. Therefore it is unquestionably fair to not enforce the teenage curfew law.

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To begin, I am certain putting a youth curfew in place will be ineffective and unfair on everyone in the community. With this law enforced it will be harder for the police to focus on real crime because they will constantly be trying to keep all teenagers off the streets. Trudi Cooper from Edith Cowan University submitted an article stating that “[a youth curfew] did not resolve the problem, it moved the problem, and police can't be everywhere”. In this statement my argument is evidently proven because, right now without a teenage curfew, police resources are already being stretched to the limit. In 2017 alone there were 1.49 million calls made to police link and more than 11% of the calls went unanswered. If the law was enforced the percentage would go up even further. As a solution, we would be able to get qualified youth workers and trained community members to volunteer to enforce this law in high crime areas of Sydney Australia, rather than utilising police across all of Sydney. Alternatively the police should be taking care of the community and keeping everyone safe. This is why I know that enforcing a teenage curfew is pointless and unreliable to the community. Therefore I undoubtedly believe we should not have a teenage curfew.

Moreover, I undeniably believe putting a youth curfew in place will be ineffective and unfair on everyone as it would be punishing the majority of the youth who have done nothing wrong. Critics say that youth curfews violate children’s freedom of movement and their right to associate with one another. This is very true and unfair. If this law was to go ahead many teens would have to stop doing extracurricular activities and instead start playing video games. Many teens will then easily get addicted because they are unable to go outside. This can cause many problems at home like forgetting about family, dinner and school work. A study appearing in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction reveals that 85% of teenagers play video games and that close to 10% of these teens may have habits indicative of problem gaming. This practice will increase if the law is introduced as well as the risk of childhood obesity, eating disorders, sleep disorders and laziness. Furthermore, it is unfair on the teens that have done nothing wrong as it is forcing them to be time managed by the government and could potentially get extremely sick and unhealthy. Therefore we must not have a teenage curfew.

Finally, I truly believe putting a youth curfew in place will be extremely ineffective and unfair on everyone including the owners of businesses. All businesses will have limited time to sell to the consumers and be losing a lot of money because teenagers will have to be home after dark. According to recent studies 79% of female teenagers and 59% of male teenagers shop in stores. Shop owners and their businesses would be vastly affected by this curfew and definitely would not want to be alienating a segment of the population that will one day become their core customers. Whilst this curfew could come in handy for example, no lines at the shop or more resources are left, would you really want to be losing money over a law you can't change nor control? A lot of people have different schedules, including ones that involve them having more free time at night or later in the day. Most teens go to school during the day, so after school is time they shop. If the curfew was to be introduced in Sydney, I am certain you will see an impact on companies losing money and see many small companies shut down. Therefore, I am positive that we should not enforce the teenage curfew law.

In conclusion, I unquestionably disapprove of the youth curfew to be imposed in Sydney, Australia. Firstly, putting a youth curfew in place will be very ineffective and unfair on the police of Sydney causing them to work harder and have more responsibilities. Moreover, the curfew is completely unfair on the large percent of youth involved that have done nothing wrong. Forcing them to stay inside leading to them potentially getting very ill, unfit and drift away from family and friends. Finally this appalling curfew is extremely unfair on the business owners of companies as half of their consumers are kids from the age of 14 to 18. If the curfew was put in place all companies of Sydney, Australia would lose a lot of customers and money during the hours of 7.30pm till 5.30am. For all these reasons I have included, it is clear that the government should not impose a youth curfew in Sydney, Australia.

Thank you for your time

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