Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - MADURA MCCOR­MACK

TOWNSVILLE was now “ground zero” for ju­ve­nile crime and po­lice have had enough, the head of the Queens­land Po­lice Union has said.

The com­ments come af­ter two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents on the week­end in­volv­ing stolen cars, one where of­fi­cers had to dive for safety and an­other where mo­torists were forced off the road by a car­load of of­fend­ers, the youngest aged 10. QPU pres­i­dent Ian Leavers said the sys­tem was bro­ken and po­lice had had enough of the “re­volv­ing door” of the le­gal sys­tem.

“Ju­ve­nile crime is out of con­trol and we as po­lice have had enough,” Mr Leavers said yes­ter­day.

“We saw po­lice al­most mur­dered, and the out­come could have been much worse if not for their quick think­ing.”

A woman and three chil­dren, in­clud­ing the 10-yearold, were charged with mul­ti­ple of­fences af­ter they were caught al­legedly driv­ing a stolen car er­rat­i­cally through Townsville on Satur­day.

The four of­fend­ers al­legedly stole a car from Lake­field Drive, Idalia about 7.30am be­fore steal­ing fuel from ser­vice sta­tions in Rosslea and Con­don.

Townsville Tac­ti­cal Crime Ser­vices In­spec­tor Sean Dug­ger said po­lice re­ceived mul­ti­ple calls from the pub­lic af­ter the stolen Honda CR-V was spot­ted driv­ing er­rat­i­cally on the road, forc­ing mo­torists to swerve out of their way. All four were ar­rested late on Satur­day af­ter­noon near Weir State School.

Po­lice will al­lege a 15year-old boy from Con­don was driv­ing the car.

That same day, two Townsville po­lice of­fi­cers were forced to dive for their lives af­ter a stolen car drove di­rectly at them in Ras­mussen.

In a mat­ter of sec­onds, the male of­fi­cer was able to jump out of the way and warn his fe­male col­league who, in turn, dived into the front seat of their po­lice car.

The stolen car struck the open pas­sen­ger-side door, caus­ing enough dam­age to ren­der the car un­drive­able.

The of­fend­ers took off and the car was found dumped on a nearby street.

Insp Dug­ger said the of­fi­cers were lucky to be alive.

“They were able to take eva­sive ac­tion to avoid be­ing se­ri­ously in­jured or pos­si­bly worse, which is not be­yond the realms, due to re­cent events with Queens­land po­lice of­fi­cers,” he said.

“We are lucky we are not dis­cussing other mat­ters to­day.” The of­fend­ers have not been caught.

“When we see these vi- cious, un­pro­voked at­tacks against po­lice, par­tic­u­larly by ju­ve­niles, and then see those same ju­ve­niles get bail, we as po­lice know the sys­tem is bro­ken,” Mr Leavers said.

“The sit­u­a­tion is now so bad the courts and the Gov­ern­ment can no longer bury their heads in the sand while ju­ve­niles com­mit crimes in a ‘con­se­quence­free’ en­vi­ron­ment.”

The in­ci­dent is rem­i­nis­cent of an in­ci­dent in south­east Queens­land where Con­sta­ble Peter Mcaulay, 24, was run over and dragged by a stolen car in Sep­tem­ber last year.

He suf­fered bro­ken bones and se­ri­ous head in­juries and was rushed to the in­ten­sive care unit, where he re­mained for weeks in a coma.

Two days be­fore Christ­mas a po­lice of­fi­cer in Lo­gan fired shots at a car that struck him dur­ing a traf­fic stop.

The of­fi­cer was not se­ri­ously in­jured.

LUCKY ES­CAPE: The po­lice car dam­aged at Ras­mussen af­ter be­ing hit by a stolen ve­hi­cle.

Ian Leavers.

In­spec­tor Sean Dug­ger.

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