PETITION: Cap Coast locals are fed up with juvenile crime
FRUSTRATED with repeat crime by juvenile offenders on the Capricorn Coast, traders and residents are now calling on State Government to bring more police officers to the region and increase penalties for repeat offenders.
Cedar Park News owner Lisa White said it was time to stop the ineffective soft-on-crime sentences by the courts.
"We have been inundated with vehicle thefts, property damage, break and enters and theft and we appear to have insufficient police officers to deter these incidents,” Ms White said.
"Business owners and residents are frustrated with the situation and have done everything they can to deter these young people including increasing our own security at great expense, but the crime continues and that is largely because the legal system is not doing enough.”
Not content to sit on his hands and watch the juvenile crime situation continue with insufficient action, Gary Toon made the decision to get proactive and began a petition that will now be circulated throughout the Capricorn Coast.
"I am the principal partitioner and we are calling for more police officers to be stationed on the Capricorn Coast and more serious repercussions for repeat offenders going through the justice system,” Mr Toon said.
"We are calling on everyone to get behind our petition to do something proactive to stop young offenders.
"The justice system and the Government need to understand that we want action and we want it now.”
Ms White said the petition will be available for signing at Fig Tree markets on September 1, Yeppoon Showground markets on September 7, Emu Park markets on September 22 and Causeway Lake markets on September 29 and they are calling on the community to come along and add your name to the list so they can see some change that will knock these illegal activities on the head.
"We are being proactive to get everyone to get behind the initiative to bring more police to the Coast and to get serious about making these young people take more responsibility for their actions,” she said.
"What has been done thus far is not enough, we live in an amazing area and we would like to keep it that way.
"We know that most of the juvenile crime is being committed by the same people and we believe it is now time for the State Government to take this matter seriously.
"The sooner we act the sooner we can see positive change for the better.”
Ms White said most of the businesses at Cedar Park have been targeted not just once but multiple times and they are not alone with numerous businesses in Yeppoon have also been targeted.
"There has been theft, damage to property and even an assault on an employee,” she said.
"Our staff are concerned for their safety, so it is understandable that we want solutions.
"When I was growing up our parents were held responsible if we were getting up to mischief,” Ms White said.
"Perhaps in addition to preventative services for the children, more police and harsher penalties there needs to be some re-education and responsibility taken by the parents in these situations where children are roaming the streets at all hours and indulging in a wanton crime spree.”
Business owner Ross Lane who has been the target of multiple break-ins, theft and damage to property said police are dealing with the same children committing the same crimes over and over again.
"This is tying up police time and resources preventing them from dealing with other issues,” he said.
"The petition is a call for a larger police presence and for repeat offenders to feel the brunt of their actions.”