Following his arrest, the State Government refused to say whether the boy would be part of the bail program that has cops babysitting alleged young offenders in exchange for “abundant overtime”.
Following his arrest, the State Government refused to say whether the boy would be part of the bail program that has cops babysitting alleged young offenders in exchange for “abundant overtime”.

Police take accused car thief to casino boxing event

A BOY accused of stealing a car during a horror crime spree was taken to a boxing event at Townsville's casino while on a controversial bail program.

The boy, 11, was the first to be arrested as part of Operation Romeo Seville, which was established to curb crime rates.

He was charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle and granted bail.

Following his arrest, the State Government refused to say whether the boy would be part of the bail program that has cops babysitting alleged young offenders in exchange for "abundant overtime".

The Townsville Bulletin has been told a group of offenders, including the 11-year-old, were taken by police to a boxing match at The Ville Resort-Casino on Saturday night.

The event was called "Rite of Passage" and hosted by The Hawks Boxing and Youth Development Academy.

The Rite of Passage event is aimed at giving young people every chance of making a positive transition into adulthood.

Burdekin MP Dale Last said he supported children being involved in sport but police resources could be better used.

"I don't think it's the role of police to be taking these kids to sporting events whilst they are on bail," he said.

The Queensland Police Service defended taking the boy to the event and said the program was designed to provide "positive mentoring to young people" through boxing.

"The opportunity to involve youths in this program is one of a range of strategies aimed at encouraging youth participating in sport to break the cycle of offending, enhance bail compliance with the aim of making the community safer," a spokeswoman said.

The bail program, labelled "Operation Regenerate", is part of a $9.4 million statewide investment from the Queensland Government in an effort to have fewer children remanded in custody.

Last month, it was revealed police officers and police liaison officers had been offered "abundant overtime" to take charged youth, released on bail, to sporting events and recreational activities.

The policy has been criticised by Townsville officers and the Opposition who have called for it to be scrapped.

Police Minister Mark Ryan has refused to answer questions about how many cops had taken part in the program.



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