Youth crime plagues city Break- ins dog po­lice

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SAM BIDEY

YOUTHS break­ing into houses and steal­ing cars is the driv­ing force be­hind Townsville’s ris­ing crime rate.

The lat­est crime statistics show the rate of break- ins and stolen ve­hi­cle per capita in Townsville is more than dou­ble that of Bris­bane.

In the 2015- 16 fi­nan­cial year, the north­ern city recorded 1396 un­law­ful en­tries per 100,000 res­i­dents while Bris­bane clocked in just 665.

On the same fig­ures, Townsville recorded 433 re­ports of un­law­ful use of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle, in­clud­ing car theft and hooning, while Bris­bane had just 220 per 100,000 peo­ple.

Over­all crime re­ports in­creased from 32,859 to 33,112 in a 12- month pe­riod, in­clud­ing an ad­di­tional 1200 re­ports of prop­erty crime.

Townsville District Of­fi­cer Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Kevin Gu­teridge said there was an is­sue in the city with youth crime but in­sisted the num­ber of of­fend­ers re­mained rel­a­tively small.

“What is really con­cern­ing about that is we have a very, very small num­ber of of­fend­ers who are ca­pa­ble of com­mit­ting a very, very large num- ber of of­fences and that’s the ter­ri­fy­ing part,” Chief Supt Gu­teridge said.

“What’s also con­cern­ing about that is the to­tal lack of re­spect that these of­fend­ers have for the re­main­der of the com­mu­nity.”

Chief Supt Gu­teridge said Thurs­day’s car chase from Townsville to Char­ters Tow­ers, for which two boys aged 14 and 16 had been charged, was an ex­am­ple of un­ac­cept­able be­haviour that needed to be ad­dressed at the source.

“Bring­ing in big­ger penal­ties and tougher penal­ties doesn’t do it,” he said. “We al­ready have some of the best penal­ties in the world in terms of our crim­i­nal law. We need a change in cul­ture and that cul­ture has to change within the homes them­selves.”

Chief Supt Gu­teridge said the dis­ap­point­ing con­se­quences of break- ins and car thefts were that law- abid­ing peo­ple did not feel safe and the rep­u­ta­tion of Townsville was tar­nished.

The statistics also re­vealed the men and women fac­ing these crim­i­nals head on – the po­lice – were feel­ing the im­pact of brazen thugs with the re­gion record­ing 152 in­ci­dents of po­lice be­ing as­saulted in the past fi­nan­cial year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.