QUEENSLAND LNP leader Deb Frecklington has unveiled a controversial plan to introduce a juvenile curfew to tackle rising youth crime in Far North Queensland.
Under the trial, children under the age of 14 would be banned from being out on the streets without a good reason beyond 8.00pm in Townsville and Cairns.
For teens aged between 15 and 17, the curfew would extend to 10.00pm.
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Anyone caught breaking the rule would be taken by police to a refuge until their parents or a social worker can come and get them.
The LNP is committing $5 million to fund the refuges in both Townsville and Cairns.
Ms Frecklington said “enough is enough” and drastic action needed to be taken.
“This is about making sure parents become responsible for their children,” Ms Frecklington told reporters in Townsville on Wednesday.
“We’ve got to get rid of the catch and release laws .. and give police the powers that they need.”
The @LNPQLD will recruit more police & fix @QLDLabor's soft 'catch & release laws and bring back breach of bail as an offence for juveniles. In Townsville & Cairns the @LNPQLD will trial an 8pm curfew for kids aged 14 & under and a 10pm curfew for youths aged 15-17. #qldpol pic.twitter.com/AXfMa7h2OV
— Deb Frecklington MP (@DebFrecklington) October 20, 2020
The party would need to pass new laws through parliament to give police the ability to enforce the rules.
“We would need to amend the legislation to give police the powers to take the children from the streets and put them in the refuge.
“This is all about keeping our children and our community safe.
“I will not apologise for being tough on crime.
“I’ve come to this community too many times, I’ve me too many people who are hurting, they are in fact bleeding.”
When asked about how police would determine whether a child should be allowed out or not, the LNP leader couldn’t be specific.
“Common sense will prevail,” Ms Frecklington said.
“If the child is doing the right thing and they are on their way home then, naturally, they will be able to go home.
“Police here in Townsville know who these youths are,” she added.
“They know the youths are laughing in the face of police officers. They are laughing in the face of the government because Labor are soft on crime.”
Ms Frecklington said crime in both regions had skyrocket under the Palaszczuk Government with robbery up 162 per cent since 2015.
Unlawful use of a motor vehicle crimes has increased by 100 per cent, unlawful entry nearly 100 percent and assault up nearly 50 per cent.
“These are damning figures,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Business as usual will not cut it.”