by staff reporters
The hunters are becoming the hunted in a shocking new escalation of Townsville’s youth crime crisis, Katter’s Australian Party Hinchinbrook (KAP) MP Nick Dametto has said.
Mr Dametto said reports of youth offenders pursuing, ramming and throwing bricks at police cars overnight had sickened him.
He said due to the Queensland Police Service’s strict anti-pursuit policy, it was likely the targeted officers had no choice but to retreat and leave the kid crims to continue on their rampage.
It was a shocking state of affairs that was causing community anger to boil over and vigilantism to fester, Mr Dametto warned.
“This would have to be a world first – a situation where 12 and 13 year old kids have so little respect, or fear, of the law that they are actually comfortable hunting down police officers,” he said.
“Someone is going to die, or be severely hurt, unless drastic actions are taken.
“I don’t want to see that in this community – not again.
“The current youth justice system, and the Palaszczuk Labor Government that has presided over this mess for the last six years, must accept responsibility.
“Stop it with the dodgy statistics and the tokenistic press conferences – people are not going to tolerate this for much longer.”
Mr Dametto said with Cleveland Detention Centre at capacity and its rotational door set-up repeatedly failing to deter recidivist offenders, the situation in the North was desperate.
He, on behalf of the KAP, called urgently for:
- Relocation Sentencing to be trialled as an alternative to detention for recidivist youth offenders
- An innovative strategy that allows for the effective pursuit and disabling of stolen vehicles and ensures public and officer safety.
“Just waiting for these kids to get bored with their games or run out of fuel is not an effective response to these kinds of situations,” Mr Dametto said.