Two of three teenagers who allegedly led police on a dangerous chase across the northern Gold Coast in an alleged stolen car have been let off with a caution, the State’s top cop has confirmed.
The wild scenes unfolded around 12.30pm on Wednesday, when a Hyundai Tucson was spotted by officers near the Pacific Pines shopping centre.
The vehicle was tracked all the way to Green Meadows Road at Pimpama, where three teenagers allegedly fled into nearby bushland before being arrested a short time later.
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A 15-year-old boy from Pacific Pines has been charged with one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and one count of driving without a licence.
He’s been denied police bail and is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court at a later date.
The two other teenagers, a 16-year-old Parkwood girl and 16-year-old Hope Island boy, were also charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, however the pair have been released with a caution after being dealth with under the Youth Justice Act.
Queensland’s Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has defended the decision to release the teens, saying it was “completely appropriate”.
“They were cautioned under the Youth Justice Act because they had no previous history,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“So when we do that, and that should be done, that really does divert people from future crime.
“I’ve got to leave that to my detectives, to my police, to prosecutors, to make that call… but if you don’t have any history I expect young children to be given a second chance and to learn.”
The State’s top cop said cautions and offender diversion programs have had the desired effect for the majority of young offenders in the past.
“We have had extraordinary success with these types of programs [Project Booyah],” Commissioner Carroll said.
“Certainly diversion, caution, restorative justice, these intense programs, they’re extremely successful.”