Get smart with young criminals
A TOWNSVILLE victim of crime says time in custody for some of the city’s repeat offenders is one of the only ways residents get a reprieve from crime.
The comments come as Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said arresting more criminals would not make Australia great.
Commissioner Stewart said police would seek to expand crime- prevention programs aimed at keeping young people out of the criminal justice system.
“While we’re happy to play our part and do our job, arresting more people and putting more people in jail is not the answer to making Australia a great nation,” he said. “As a community we have to look at smarter ways of dealing with people who make minor errors and can be perhaps diverted from the criminal justice system.”
Rasmussen grandfather Ron Dundas, whose wife Prim was the victim of a violent carjacking in January, said he was pleased there seemed to be a reprieve from soaring property and vehicle crime in Townsville. But he was worried it was only a matter of time before another wave of offending swept the city.
“These criminals know they’ve got everyone under their thumb,” he said.
“They don’t care about us so we should keep sticking them in jail.”
Mr Dundas said while he backed police using custody as a key deterrent, he also supported more education and early intervention methods.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said there would always been a need for prisons for those offenders who have no desire to turn their lives around.
“There are those who’ll continue to taunt and break the law, and yes, for them, jail is the only answer but we also need structures and processes in place to reduce crime.”
Mr Stewart said through the Townsville Stronger Communities initiative, the State Government was trying to focus on identifying the root causes of crime to stop the cycle of offending.
“We are doing a lot of work with families because we need parents taking responsibility for their own kids,” he said. “There is a lot of research that shows early intervention is they key to breaking the cycle.”
SMARTER WAYS: Police Commissioner Ian Stewart.