Criminal offending by adults often exposes minors to serious harm. A primary example of such offending is the production of drugs, particularly methamphetamine. Production of these substances is regularly conducted in residential buildings, putting the lives and health of resident children at risk of poisoning and burns resulting from the highly dangerous and unstable chemicals used in such production. Minors are often innocent parties to criminal offending by adults, and deserve protection from adult offending that puts them at risk of harm.
This Bill amends the Sentencing Act 2002 to make criminal offending in the presence of a minor an aggravating factor at sentencing. Where the offending endangers or exposes a minor to potential adverse effects from that offending, the sentence must reflect this.