- The Liberal National Party will put the safety of families first and tackle the North Queensland crime problem with a comprehensive plan
- North Queensland will be home to a dedicated police helicopter as part of a new police pursuit trial to crackdown on vehicle crime, including theft and hooning
- New Rapid Action Patrol in Cairns and Youth Curfew trial in Townsville
A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will introduce sweeping law changes and increased police powers to combat crime as part of a $25.9 million North Queensland Crime Action Plan.
LNP Leader Tim Nicholls committed to putting community safety first by ending Annastacia Palaszczuk’s soft-on-crime approach.
“Over the last three years drug and violent crime has increased and youth crime is out of control in North Queensland,” Mr Nicholls said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor have been doing nothing while the crime rates continue to soar.
“We have listened to the concerns of local residents who want strong action to protect them and their family.
“Our comprehensive plan focuses on more resources, early intervention, tougher laws and making parents more accountable.
“North Queensland deserves a dedicated police helicopter as an ‘eye in the sky’ to crackdown on local hoons and give police an advantage in the fightback against the crime epidemic,” Mr Nicholls said.
LNP Shadow Police Minister Tim Mander said the LNP would back the police and tackle the revolving door of youth justice.
“Our hard-working police need better resources and tougher laws to protect the community,” Mr Mander said.
“We have listened to the concerns of the police and we will trial a new pursuit policy in Townsville.
“The Townsville community have strongly backed a youth curfew that we will deliver.
“Only the LNP will provide safe and liveable communities as we Build a Better Queensland.”
North Queensland Crime Action Plan:
1. Better Resources for Police
- Establishing a specialist Rapid Action Patrol police squad based in Cairns at a cost of $6.5 million.
- Implementing a new police pursuit policy, trialled in Townsville, focusing on car theft and hooning offences.
- Launching a permanent police and emergency services helicopter for North Queensland, based in Townsville, fitted with Forward Looking Infrared Camera (FLIR) technology at a cost of $10 million, complementing the police pursuit policy trial.
2. Early Intervention
- An early intervention youth rehabilitation program, coordinated by the Premier’s Department, to identify and rehabilitate at-risk young people, before they are caught up in the youth justice system, at a cost of $4 million.
3. Tougher Laws
- Re-introducing ‘breach of bail’ as an offence again for young offenders.
- Introducing a community payback scheme for young offenders convicted of unlawful entry or car theft/hooning offences to undertake a mandatory community service order to show their remorse and reparation for their crime, upon their first offence at a cost of $2 million.
- Removing the principle of detention as a last resort for repeat young offenders upon their second offence.
- Re-instating the ability for a Court to name and shame a repeat young offender upon their third offence (three strikes policy).
- Providing the Court with the ability to restrict a young person’s eligibility for a driver’s licence if they have been convicted of certain car theft and hooning offences.
4. Making Parents More Accountable
- Partnering with the Commonwealth Government to ensure the parents of a child in youth detention don’t receive the welfare payments they would normally receive for their child, while that child is incarcerated in detention, and
- Implementing Operation Townsville Safe Streets, a six-month youth curfew strategy in Townsville overseen by local police and Council, at a cost of $1.3 million. The trial would affect children under 16 who are roaming the streets after 10pm (either by themselves or with other minors). They would be collected by police and looked after at a local emergency accommodation shelter until they can be safely returned to their parents. The shelter would be staffed with a counsellor and nurse to safeguard the child, while ensuring the community was protected. Young thugs roaming the streets would soon learn that it’s not worth the risk of being caught, while their parents would be held more accountable for their actions. Part of the review of this trial will also look at dealing with issues of vagrants in Cairns and Townsville committing petty crimes and causing local disturbances.