Youth-dominated crimes rise again in Qld

·2-min read

Youth-dominated crimes have surged to their highest level in Queensland since the state government launched a controversial crackdown on juvenile offenders.

Queensland police figures show the number of break-ins, burglaries, shop and car thefts, joy rides, arson and property damage in March were at their highest level since the controversial crackdown began in April 2021.

After three high-profile killings involving youths driving stolen cars last year, new laws were passed allowing teen offenders to be fitted with GPS trackers, and be denied the presumption of bail if caught committing serious offences while on bail.

The Palaszczuk government has said the laws target 400 "hardcore recidivist" offenders, most of whom are Indigenous.

The policies have been panned by the Greens, human rights groups and civil libertarians.

The Queensland Children's Court in December said there was such a backlog that children were being held in custody for almost a year before their cases are heard.

Queensland Police statistics for last month show there were more than 700 property offences, 340 instances of burglary, shop or car theft and 56 joyrides every day.

While those crimes are dominated by young offenders, the police figures don't provide a breakdown of offences by age group.

LNP Leader David Crisafulli says the rise in youth-dominated crimes, and the government's earlier admission that only three youths have been fitted with GPS anklets, shows the crackdown is failing.

"These thugs are running rampant and destroying lives and businesses every day while the state government sits on its hands," he said in a statement on Thursday.

"Labor has failed to get youth crime under control, failed to protect our community and failed to do the right thing by our children.

"Queenslanders deserve so much better than this."

LNP police spokesman Dale Last said the government should make breach of bail an offence of youth offenders.

He said the measure would allow police to intervene before offenders breaching bail committed further crime.

"The state government must strengthen our laws to get these young offenders off the streets," he said.

"If the government doesn't act now, it's only going to get worse."

Human rights groups and the Greens have previously called for the government to improve and properly fund social programs to break the cycle of crime for at-risk young people.

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