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Send kid crims to the bush, not city streets: KAP

Mar 22, 2022

Send kid crims to the bush, not city streets: KAP

Mar 22, 2022

The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s culpability for the youth crime crisis wreaking havoc across the State has been laid bare today following reports that ‘at-risk’ children from the bush are being grouped with and criminalised by juvenile offenders in care homes on the coast. 

The Townsville Bulletin has today reported that due to a chronic lack of Child Safety resources in towns like Mount Isa, kids with no criminal records are being relocated in Townsville and placed amongst seasoned juvenile criminals to learn the ropes of crime.[1]

According to un-named police and Child Safety sources, this is where many children’s lives of crime begin.

Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter, who lives in Mount Isa, said that by grouping vulnerable children with criminals the Palaszczuk Government was effectively enabling and exacerbating the youth crime crisis.

“With strong irony, I would like to congratulate the State Labor Government for successfully contributing to the North Queensland youth crime crisis by exporting vulnerable kids and training them up in crime in Townsville,” he said.

Mr Katter said the current situation was the reverse of what the KAP had relentlessly called for: Relocation Sentencing, which is a policy approach designed to send offenders away from city centres to break the cycle of offending.

“Juvenile offenders are coming into town and getting further criminalised, as opposed to what the KAP’s Relocation Sentencing Policy seeks to achieve by sending offenders to an approved remote property to break the crime cycle,” the Traeger MP said.

“Offending kids and ‘at-risk’ kids need to be sent away from criminal influences, not injected right into the middle of them.

“Many of these problems come out of the Northern Territory and the Gulf, they get sucked into Mount Isa, compounded and then they overflow into Townsville where things really take a turn.

“The source of all of this are the social problems these kids face at home – Mum and Dad are unemployed, at home drinking and the kids are left to fend for themselves.

“We need to have the hard conversations about how we get people back into meaningful employment.

“How we can get these people to have a purpose, motivation, and a reason?

“The KAP has been pushing for both our Blue Card Bill and Title Deeds in these regions, in an attempt to combat these issues.

“As it stands, the current system is a significant barrier to these people obtaining employment and dignity – they don’t stand a chance in gaining employment and breaking the cycle.

“This continued heightened crime crisis is an example of abysmal policy failure by the Queensland State Government and our communities deserve better.”

KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto was infuriated upon discovering that children with no criminal records were being brought from western Queensland towns into Townsville.

“It’s beyond comprehension to think that anyone from the Department would think that this was a good idea; sending children with no criminal record to the coast to live with youth criminals – which would essentially become their peers – is nothing short of a youth crime recruitment drive,” Mr Dametto said.

“There’s every chance these children would be placed into homes with recidivist offenders; you may as well be sending these children to criminal school for an education.

“The KAP has been fighting for the State to trial our Relocation Sentencing Policy to get these children off the streets of regional Queensland, this bungle does the complete opposite.

“We need to do all we can to break the crime cycle – sending them to a remote property where they can learn life skills is the answer, putting them on the streets is a sure-fire way to help these kids kick off lengthy criminal records.”

[1] https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts-townsville/limited-child-safety-resources-in-western-nq-causing-vulnerable-kids-slip-into-crime/news-story/f1b03c565e4bdb50f4f68ddb5272e134

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