Youths over-represented in crime stats on Coast: Police
Young criminals would be jailed under a three-strike mandatory detention policy by an LNP government, as part of a hard line pledge to smash youth crime.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington today announced a comprehensive plan to crack down on youth crime and protect the public.
Ms Frecklington said an if elected, the LNP would implement tougher laws, monitor youth offenders on bail 24/7, introduce mandatory detention for third convictions, establish a Community Payback Farm program, scrap youth bail houses, and increase early intervention with a justice reinvestment trial.
Detective Senior Sergeant of Sunshine Coast Child Protection Investigation Unit Phil Hurst said while the figures fluctuated, youths always seemed over-represented in the Sunshine Coast’s crime statistics.
Sgt Hurst said there didn’t appear to be any specific crime hot spots for youths to target, but the most common crimes were property thefts, assaults and robberies.
“We do seem to have issues with youths committing crimes in public places, and it’s pretty common for there to be a group mentality particularly in assaults and car thefts,” he said.
“Interestingly, with COVID we haven’t seen a drop in youth crime like we have with the others.”
According to the LNP since Annastacia Palaszczuk was elected as Queensland Premier in 2015, robbery increased 94 per cent, unlawful use of a motor vehicle jumped 77 per cent, assault increased 35 per cent and shop stealing increased 70 per cent.
“Young thugs committing violent crime, car theft and drug use won’t be the norm under the LNP – it will be stamped out,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The only way to solve the youth crime crisis is to change the government.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is soft on crime and the scales of justice have been tipped in favour of keeping juvenile criminals on the streets.”
In the past month, a 15-year-old was arrested for allegedly robbing and kicking another teenage boy in the head under a Coast bridge.
Three teenagers were also charged with multiple offences after a wild chase from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast last night ended in a dramatic Bruce Highway arrest.
Sgt Hurst said there appeared to be a small amount of recidivist offenders, with 57.3 per cent of youths committing crimes being diverted from the Queensland court system.
“It’s all about early intervention, we are really trying to assist young people and working with government areas to divert them early so there is less chance of them reoffending,” he said.
“We have very good collaboration with local programs really dedicated to helping youth at risk.”
He thanked the public for its co-operation in helping to locate offenders.