Youth crime service success in north Qld

·2-min read

A co-responder service in north Queensland is successfully working with youths to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour and housing and education issues, the state government says.

The program has engaged with more than 2300 young people since beginning in May 2020.

Children and Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard says having 24/7 teams in place has aided in tackling youth crime issues.

"Our co-responder teams are doing wonderful work on the ground, helping to stop crime before it occurs, at the same time addressing anti-social behaviour and diverting young people to support services," Ms Linard said.

"Together, police and youth justice workers have engaged with 2331 young people since May and are now in a unique position to truly understand why young people are offending and how they can help them to get back on track."

Since implementation, the program has resulted in a 13 per cent drop in youth crime in Cairns - compared to the previous year.

Other areas in Queensland like Rockhampton, Townsville, Brisbane and Logan are also benefiting from the $5.2 million program, the government says.

Queensland Speaker Curtis Pitt, who is the Member for Mulgrave in the state's north, said the impact was welcomed across the state.

"They've helped young people affected by domestic violence, who have struggled with drug addiction issues and young people who are simply hungry or need a bed to sleep - all issues that impact youth crime," he said.

"Feedback from our frontline workers is that young people who are stopped in their tracks by our co-responders and who are directed to get the support they need are less likely to offend."

The co-responder program is part of the government's measures to tackle youth crime.

Last month, the government introduced tough new laws to parliament, including GPS trackers for offenders aged 16 and 17 as a condition for bail, a presumption against bail and amendments to the Youth Justice Act for recidivist offenders.