TIGHTEN THE LAWS: Tougher youth justice laws have been encouraged by prosecutors in the Western Downs following the death of four people in 2021. Picture: File
TIGHTEN THE LAWS: Tougher youth justice laws have been encouraged by prosecutors in the Western Downs following the death of four people in 2021. Picture: File

How tightened youth crime laws will change the Western Downs

A south west Queensland police prosecutor has encouraged for laws to be tightened to combat repeat offenders following a youth justice announcement by the State Government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk spoke of the sweeping changes on February 9, which included the courts giving powers to trial GPS trackers as a condition of bail to youth offenders to combat the spate of high-profile incidents in 2021.

Other proposed legislative alterations included creating a presumption against bail, seeking assurances from parents and guardians, and strengthening existing bail laws to provide further guidance to courts.

Southwest police prosecutor sergeant Derek Brady said he encouraged laws to be tightened to give the courts “greater authority” to keep repeat youth offenders in custody.

“The community’s criticism of the court system is not an accurate reflection of why repeat offenders are out on bail,” Sergeant Brady said.

“Often the police and court’s hands are tied by the power that are given to us.”

Queensland is still reeling from the horrific hit-and-run deaths of Kate Leadbetter and Matt Field and their unborn son Miles and just days after 22-year-old Jennifer Board was killed in Townsville, allegedly by vigilantes chasing a stolen car being driven by an 18-year-old.

Ms Palaszczuk said the loss of these four innocent loves could not go unanswered.

“It is clear to me and to the community that some young offenders simply don't care about consequences,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“They're the ones we are going to target with all the force and resources at our disposal.”

Statistics released by the State Government in their Youth Justice Strategy 2019—2023 showed 10 per cent of young offenders in Queensland accounted for 44 per cent of youth crimes.

The report indicates young offenders who enter the youth justice system often come from “tough and traumatic family backgrounds”, with 31 per cent having a parent that has been held in adult custody.

Other data shows 58 per cent have had a mental health or behavioural disorder diagnosed, while more than half of youth offenders have used two or more substances.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

If you’re reading this that means you’re already a subscriber to this website, but it also means you get FREE and UNLIMITED access to the Courier Mail for the latest National, State, Rugby League, AFL and Entertainment news plus more.

If you haven’t already – activate your complimentary Courier Mail subscription by following the below steps …

1. Go to My Profile and log in

2. Go to My Rewards

3. Click the activate now button or copy activation hyperlink

4. Sign up on The Courier-Mail website – we recommend you use the same email address and password as what you’ve set up for our website to avoid confusion.

This same login will also work on other News sites including the Toowoomba Chronicle, Melbourne’s Herald Sun and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


TRY TIME: Western Downs to host Intrust Super Cup game

Premium Content TRY TIME: Western Downs to host Intrust Super Cup game

Rugby League’s premier state competition will be making its way to the Western...

DRUG RAID: Man charged after detectives seize cannabis plants

Premium Content DRUG RAID: Man charged after detectives seize cannabis...

A Cunnamulla man is due to front court after detectives raided a home and located...

Top 20 Qld suburbs sponsoring foreign kids

Premium Content Top 20 Qld suburbs sponsoring foreign kids

These are the Queensland suburbs that have dug deep to sponsor children overseas.