Reason behind huge surge in car theft
CAR theft has soared in Queensland by 15 per cent in the last year with juveniles aged 10-17 the most likely age group of offenders.
Figures show 15,010 car thefts were reported in 2018-19, an increase of about 2000 offences compared to the previous year, according to the annual police statistics for 2018-19.
Police cleared 7070 offences relating to the car theft, or less than half of them.
There was 4212 offences in the Brisbane region, 3915 in the Southeast region, 2104 offences in the Northern region, 2161 in the Central region and 2618 in the Southern region.
Queensland offender numbers for car theft list 2710 for boys and 701 for girls in the 10-17 age group, which were both the highest for any age group.
The data is not a unique count of offenders as the same offenders can be counted multiple times.
Offender numbers list a combined boy and girl total of 820 for car theft in the age 10-17 age group in the Brisbane region, 492 in the Central region, 939 in the Northern region, 521 in the Southeast region and 639 in the Southern region.
The numbers in each region are higher than any other comparable age group in the statistics.
The overall rate of car theft in the Brisbane region was 261.4 per 100,000 people compared to 207.5 in the Central region, 378.5 in the Northern region, 401.6 in the southeast region and 301 in the Southern Region.
The issue has been so problematic in Townsville that residents have set up their own Facebook groups to try to catch teens stealing their cars.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll recently appointed Paul Taylor as a new deputy commissioner for regional Queensland, based in Townsville, in part to address community concerns around youth crime.
The report said the 20-year trend shows a decline of 48 per cent of car theft from 1999-2000 to 2018-19. However rates have consistently increased since 2015-16.
Bond University criminologist and former police detective Terry Goldsworthy said the rate of car theft had increased by 13 per cent in the last financial year.
"That's an extra 2000 vehicles taken in that period, that's a lot of cars," he said.
"I think we need to focus on that issue, are they taking them for short-term non-profit motives or for profit?"
Originally published as Reason behind huge surge in car theft