YOUTH CRIME: “They just aren’t up to challenge of addressing the complexities of youth crime,” Minister for Police Mark Ryan criticises the LNP’s plan to tackle youth crime. Pic: Matt Taylor
YOUTH CRIME: “They just aren’t up to challenge of addressing the complexities of youth crime,” Minister for Police Mark Ryan criticises the LNP’s plan to tackle youth crime. Pic: Matt Taylor

LNP’s ‘boot camp’ plan for young offenders slammed

AS Chinchilla struggles with the effects of youth crime, the Palaszczuk Government has introduced new bail laws to target repeat youth offenders who are considered a danger to the community.

Police minister Mark Ryan said the changes were made to the Youth Justice Act to make it crystal clear to the courts that dangerous repeat offenders should not be given bail.

"Police prosecutions are already successfully launching appeals in cases where it's clear bail should not have been granted," Mr Ryan said.

"And I back them in this 100 per cent - because our reforms work.

"In fact, the number of youth offenders statewide is now the lowest in ten years."

Mr Ryan said the government had listened to the concerns of local communities and was taking action.

"We will go hardcore on the hard nut offenders and will ensure that these offenders are held to account and the community is safe.

"The government's intention has always been clear and that is community safety must come first and that's the message we're reinforcing," Mr Ryan said.

Earlier this month, opposition leader Deb Frecklington released a plan to crack down on youth crime, although Mr Ryan said the LNP's proposed 'Community Payback Farms' have been proven to fail.

"The LNP's failed 'boot camps' plan - they've just dusted off Campbell Newman's expensive dud and called it 'Community Payback Farms'," Mr Ryan said.

"Every expert, every review and every audit has come to the same conclusion: the LNP's failed policies won't work.

"They just aren't up to challenge of addressing the complexities of youth crime."

Mr Ryan said the current government has delivered a record $2.6 billion police budget, which is a 20 per cent increase since Labor came to government.

"With this budget, there are more police in Queensland than ever before and police are better resourced than ever before," he said.

"Since coming to government, we've increased the number of police in the South West District, and those police are actively patrolling, targeting and arresting youth offenders in the region."

This year the Chinchilla Police Station has received additional support, with an additional vehicle being added as well as a number of new officers coming on board.

Chinchilla police senior constable James Leahy said the additional support has been instrumental and contrary to popular belief, the township is in a good position with crime treading down.

"It has absolutely improved our presence," he said.

"Now we can spread ourselves in town and out of town, so there's no longer a window of opportunity for the offenders.

"Most of the crimes that are happening are opportunistic; there hasn't been a lot of forced break and enters."

Snr const Leahy said the community needs to stay vigilant in making sure their houses and cars are locked securely.

It's very much the case of, "lock it or lose it," he said.

 

If a crime is happening now, call 000. If it's not an emergency call Policelink on 131 444.


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