Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, is introducing state wide tough new measures in youth justice in response to the high number of youth crime. The Premier reported that 48 per cent of the youth crime in Queensland is committed by 10 per cent of criminals. The measures are aimed at young offenders that are repeat offenders and are a high risk to the safety of the community.

Following the public outcry from three recent deaths in the State that are allegedly related to youth crime, Ms Palaszczuk has introduced seven changes. She noted that there has been a significant impact of teen crime in the state, which has resulted in heartbreaking losses. Four of the new measures are specifically in relation to bail, with the other three measures aiming to assist police in the prevention of crime. The measures are being trialled in an effort to crack down on the number of youth crime and to deter young offenders.

The measures being introduced are:

  • Creating a presumption against bail for repeat offenders, meaning they will need to provide reasons why they should be allowed bail rather than the prosecution proving why they should not.
  • Courts being able to issue GPS trackers to be fitted to high risk offenders aged 16 and 17 across various regions including the Gold Coast, Logan, North Brisbane, Moreton and Townsville.
  • Requirement for assurances to be sought from parents and guardians to ensure that offenders will adhere to their bail conditions
  • Providing further assistance to the court by strengthening existing bail laws
  • Police are able to hold metal detecting wands to target knife crime especially on parts of the Gold Coast, including Surfers Paradise
  • Anti-hooning laws will be strengthened so the registered owner of a vehicle can be deemed responsible for offences, an exemption will allow for if the car was stolen or they can identify another driver.
  • A Parliamentary inquiry will be established to look into whether remote engine immobilisers should also be implemented in Queensland.

The Premier has confirmed that a Youth Crime Taskforce has been established to work to implement these new measures.

Mick Gooda, a former royal commissioner in youth justice, has criticised the new measures calling them a “knee-jerk” reaction. He and other youth justice advocates have said that the measures will fail to reduce rates and push more children to end up incarcerated. While he has said he does support calls from the community to see action on youth crime and to hold young offenders accountable for their actions. Mr Gooda has also said, “You’re not going to punish kids into doing the right thing.” He suggests that support services being available outside of the 9:00am to 5:00pm time frame for at risk youth would provide a more sustainable outcome.

What are your thoughts on the new measures the Government has introduced?

Youth Crime has always been a problem for the community.  Are these proposed changes fair and reasonable?  Should more be done to protect our community? 

If you have a question about law and order in Queensland call our expert team at Brooke Winter Solicitors 1300 066 669.