New strike teams to target ‘hard core’ crime in Rockhampton
SPECIAL government strike teams in unmarked cars are now targeting “hard core” juvenile criminals across the Rockhampton region.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the co-responded Strike Teams had kicked off their first shifts as part of an intensive crackdown on youth offending in the region.
“These strike teams include police and youth justice workers riding together and patrolling Rockhampton in unmarked cars,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“I’ve been keeping Ministers up to date with feedback from our community to ensure Rockhampton is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s youth crime crackdown.
“Protecting the safety of the Rockhampton community is paramount and that’s exactly why the strike teams are targeting repeat, hardcore youth offenders.
“The strike teams send a very clear message to youth offenders that their behaviour won’t be tolerated in our city.
He said youth crime was a complex problem but the Palaszczuk Government had drawn a line in the sand and was taking affirmative action to curb the issue.
Strike teams were announced in March as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s five-point action plan to crackdown on youth crime and are now also operational in Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane and Logan.
More than $15 million has been committed over three years to implement the action plan, which also includes tougher action on bail, culture based ‘on country’ programs and funding for community-based crime action committees.
Minister for Youth Di Farmer said the Government had listened to feedback from local communities and all aspects of the five-point plan were expected to be up and running in July.
“These new measures are aimed at hard core offenders and leave no doubt that the safety of the community always comes first,” Minister Farmer said.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said police were focused on bail as part of the action plan.
“When necessary, to protect the community, police will present all facts to the court to seek to remand young people in custody who pose an unacceptable risk of reoffending,” he said.
“Police are being proactive in seeking reviews of bail decisions where it is believed unacceptable risk exists.
“To date, police have successfully reviewed three court decisions to release a young person on bail.”
Minister Farmer said the Government had invested more than half a billion dollars to curb youth crime, including new youth detention centre beds and early intervention programs, and that investment was having good results.
“Over the past 10 years we’ve seen a 30 per cent drop in the number of young offenders across the state,” Minister Farmer said.
“What we are left with is a small, hard-core group of repeat offenders who commit 44 per cent of youth crime.
“Those are the offenders causing community grief and our five-point action plan is squarely aimed at serial offenders.”