Juvenile Offenders to be Named and Shamed

FIGHTING FORCE: Senior Sergeant Graeme Paterson is working hard to keep repeat juvenile offenders off the street.

Mundingburra’s Officer-in-charge says new laws will name and shame and force repeat juvenile offenders to take responsibility for their actions.
by Jenna Johnstone

 

FIGHTING FORCE: Senior Sergeant Graeme Paterson is working hard to keep repeat juvenile offenders off the street.

FIGHTING FORCE: Senior Sergeant Graeme Paterson is working hard to keep repeat juvenile offenders off the street.

 

Roaming gangs of teens and children as young as 12 have prompted tough new statewide laws to stamp out criminal behavior.

Senior Sergeant Graeme Paterson said the laws, which were introduced to State Parliament in February, would make youth criminals think twice before reoffending.

He said the laws should serve as a wake up call for young criminals in the Townsville region, with the community under siege from joyriding teens.

“Repeat young offenders who steal cars will no longer get a slap on the wrist and be back on the streets stealing more cars,” Sergeant Paterson said.

“Instead courts will have the opportunity to view juvenile criminal histories, with the ability to remove detention as a last resort.”
Sergeant Paterson said offenders with two previous convictions in the past 12 months would be sent to bootcamp as a mandatory sentence.

“The move would take about 90 offending youths off Townsville streets a year.”

The announcement of the new laws came after 18-year-old girl Navada Seaton was killed, crashing a stolen car on Ross River Road earlier this year.

“Young people are dying on our streets and unfortunately there will be other deaths if we don’t step in,” he said.

“Around Christmas we had between 30 to 40 cars being stolen per week.”

Member for Mundingburra David Crisafulli said the reforms to the Youth Justice Act would see a direct reduction in crime throughout Townsville.

“This is an issue we are living with each and every day and clearly the numbers show that we need to take action,” he said.

Mr Crisafulli urged for people who support the reformed laws to have their say and stand up for regional Queensland.

“People who live outside our region say that the laws are too tough, but they don’t have to live with what we live with. They don’t have to see the break ins, they don’t have to see the car crashes, they don’t have to pick up the dead bodies that our emergency services have to.”

“Please if you support these laws put your view forward because they can’t come soon enough.”

Security Tips
    • Ensure your car and house is locked at all times
    • Do not have valuables such as laptops, phones or wallets in viewDon’t leave keys in an easily accessible place
    • If your keys have been stolen: disable your car battery or park your car in front of another vehicle