Youth crime plagues city Break- ins dog police
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.