Sweeping changes to Queensland’s youth justice laws have passed through parliament overnight.
The reforms will allow courts to fit teenage offenders with GPS trackers, and remove the presumption of bail.
It’ll also see strike teams expanded to the Gold Coast, and will allow police to use metal-detecting wands in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
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The changes were prompted by the deaths of a pregnant couple in Brisbane, who were allegedly mowed down by a teenager in a stolen car back in January.
Police Minister Mark Ryan says the reforms are about targeting the hardcore repeat offenders, which is about 10 per cent of youth offenders.
“That is why we have made these changes, including to bail laws.
“Ten per cent of all youth offenders account for 48 per cent of all youth crime.
“It is this group we are targeting with all the legislative and front-line strategies at our disposal.”
To support the tough new measures, the state government is also putting $94.8 million towards the crackdown.
It includes $38.3 million to support new measures that will target those hardcore youth criminals and crackdown on juvenile crime.
While more than $60 million will be invested over four years to support programs and services to steer young people away from offending behaviour.
Minister for Youth Justice Leanne Linard says that’s on top of more than half a billion dollars already invested in early intervention programs and new detention centre beds.
“This new funding package backs up new tougher measures and laws to monitor and supervise young offenders and provides more resources for frontline workers and courts to deal with repeat offenders,” she said.
“Importantly this funding will ensure a greater level of supervision and support on weekends and out-of-hours and includes the rollout of two additional 24/7 Co-Responder Teams, bringing the total number of Co-Responder Teams to eight.
“Community safety has always been a priority for the government, that is why we have continued to provide record funding for youth justice reform.”