Southern Downs leaders back crackdown on youth crime
The region’s leaders have backed calls for a toughened stance on youth crime over “unacceptable” spates of offending.
Member for Southern Downs James Lister said it was the first in solving a growing problem.
“I recognise that youth crime has complex causes including domestic violence, dysfunctional families and drugs and alcohol,” he said.
“However, law-abiding people have rights. The right to live in safety, to have security for their homes and property, and to be protected from anti-social and criminal behaviour.
“The rights of law-abiding people are superior to the rights of offenders, and I am tired of hearing excuses for why the same people are getting away with the same crimes, night after night in our communities.
“Let’s first lockup repeat offenders to keep the community safe, and then we can talk about solving the causes.”
Mr Lister said he would like to see a variety of measures introduced, including youth offenders on bail to be monitored 24/7, mandatory detention for third convictions, and a community payback farm program to rehabilitate young offenders. .
“I am often approached by people who are worried about growing youth crime and the absence of consequences for offenders who commit the same crimes, night after night,” she said.
“Law-abiding people deserve protection from those who break the law, regardless of how sad the stories of the offenders may be.
“Letting them out to repeat their crimes every night is unacceptable to reasonable people and it’s got to change.”
Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg also supported the calls for tougher action, saying the current system was “clearly not working” for repeat offenders.
“Unfortunately, a few weeks ago Goondiwindi was subject to a series of break-ins, thefts and anti-social behaviour,’ he said.
“It has been upsetting to our community that this very small number of juvenile offenders have continued to make individual victims, as well as ratepayers, bear the cost of their actions.
“For the vast majority, the system works and we need to support that pathway for those individuals. However, for a hardened few, the current system is not deterring them from further offences.”