QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a raft of “tough new measures” aimed at curbing the disturbing rise in youth crime across the state.
“48 per cent of the youth crime in Queensland is committed by just 10 per cent of criminals.
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“They have no concept of the consequences of their actions and no fear of the law.”
The Premier confirmed her government will be implementing seven measures which are aimed directly at those repeat offenders.
The measures include fitting GPS electronic trackers to high risk offenders aged 16 and 17. This will be trialed across several regions including the Gold Coast, Logan, North Brisbane, Moreton and Townsville.
Metal detecting wands will also be trailed in Safe Night Out precincts in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach in a bid to crack down on knife crime.
“This is something that the Police have been asking for and we are very happy to support,” Police Minister Mark Ryan said.
“We have been noticing a concerning trend around young people carrying knives in public places.
“This will support police efforts, it will help to prevent crime and it will also accompany our efforts surrounding engaging young people to behave appropriately in public and to stop their offending.”
Bail laws will also be strengthened, reversing the resumption of bail. This proposal will allow courts to require repeated offenders to give reasons why they should have bail instead of requiring prosecutors to prove why they should not.
It will also require more from parents to make sure offenders adhere to their bail conditions or bail will not be granted.
“We expect more of parents and carers,” the Premier said.
The Youth Justice Act will be also amended to include a reference to the community being protected from recidivist youth offenders in the Charter of Youth Justice Principles.
The state will also work to strengthen anti-hooning laws to hold the registered owner of a vehicle responsible except where the vehicle is stolen or the owner can identify another driver.
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) February 9, 2021
A parliamentary inquiry will also be established to look into whether remote engine immobilisers should also be implemented, a move the Queensland Police Union has called for in recent weeks.
The Palaszczuk Government has also confirmed the establishment of a Youth Crime Taskforce which will work to implement these measures.
It will be headed by Assistant Police Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon, the boss of Queensland’s former Security and Counter Terrorism Command.
There has been increasing pressure on the state government to crack down on youth crime following a spate of deaths linked to young criminals across the state.
Kate Leadbetter, her partner Matt Field and their unborn baby were killed on Australia Day after being struck by an allegedly stolen car driven by a teenager in Brisbane.
22-year-old Jennifer Broad was also killed on Friday night after she was hit by a car, which had allegedly been following a stolen vehicle in Townsville.
“The community has asked for change and the government is responding,” Minister Ryan said.
“We owe it to the family of the loved ones lost in recent tragedies to do something and we are.”
The state government’s proposals will be introduced to parliament at the end of the month.