Last year the NSW government made $2 million from children under 16, who were issued with penalty notices for minor offences. Fare dodging was the most common offence across NSW, with 14,670 children issued with penalty notices, bringing in a total of $733,500.

474 children were fined for smoking on buses, trains and in public, totalling $142,200.

Swearing on public transport came in third, with 215 children paying $87,000 in fines.

Freedom of Information figures obtained by the Labour party revealed the youngest child to be issued a fine was an eight-year old, who had been caught using public transport without a ticket.

Revenue NSW has withdrawn penalty notices issued to persons under 10, as they should not have been issued in the first place.

There have been calls recently by the NSW Opposition and child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg to curb fines being issued to children under 16.

Under the current law, fines can therefore be issued to children who are too young to be legally employed.  Penalty notices can be legally issued to any person who was 10 years of age or more at the time of the alleged offence.

Enforcement action by Revenue NSW cannot be taken against the parents of a child issued with a fine.

Image: The Telegraph

Kathryn Cooper

Kathryn Cooper

Criminal Lawyer

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