Vigilante Vigor: Communities wrestle with risky alternatives in the battle against youth crime

Oct 13, 2023

Recent incidents of vigilante behaviour demonstrate community desperation as the State Government grapples to come up with a single policy that has a substantial impact on the scourge of youth crime.

In the wake of an appalling week of youth crime, community members in Townsville and the Gold Coast have allegedly taken matters into their own hands, resorting to what has been called vigilantism as a response to inadequate action by the State Government and the inability for the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to pull offenders into line with community expectations.

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto said the rise in this kind of behaviour was an indicator of just how fed-up victims were when it came to Queensland’s youth crime crisis.

“It clear that some community members have lost faith in QPS’s ability to render law and order or protect them or their property which I must say is no fault of officers on the beat,” Mr Dametto said.

“The blame for a lack of police authority lies further up the chain with the internal decision and policy makers letting us all down.

“QPS officers must be empowered to do their job and they must be backed up with strong legislation that puts repeat offenders behind bars once they finally reach the courtroom.

“Police must be allowed to act from a position of authority with the ability to protect themselves, citizens and their property, if they have any hope of reigning in this lawless youth crime disaster. If not, then we are only going to see more risky examples where people take matters into their own hands and that is not going to end well for anyone.

“If police were authorised to pursue and retrieve stolen vehicles in an aggressive and timely manner, everyday people wouldn’t feel like they had no other choice but to intervene and I get that when you see the amount of burnt and destroyed vehicles once the thieves are finished with them.

“No-one wants to see Queensland turned into a ‘police state’ but at the same time I don’t want to live in a state where juvenile crims feel they can get away with ramming a police car and then attack that car with golf clubs while the police sit inside powerless to intervene.

“There’s little wonder why police moral is at an all-time low, this State Labor Government has lost the plot.”

“The Police Minister and Commissioner have a monumental task on their hands if they have any chance at turning this around any time soon.  It’s time to give our police back their power and the confidence to use it so they can do their job of protecting Queensland.”