knife crime
knife crime

‘Why is a 12 year old out and not at home?’

UNDER-fire State Government Ministers insist they are working to clamp down on out-of-control youth crime as furious Gold Coasters say they have had a gutful.

The Palaszczuk Government has been under increased pressure to deal with the Gold Coast's 'Kindergarten crooks in the two months since Parkwood teenager Jack Beasley was allegedly murdered in Surfers Paradise.

Youth crime is a growing issue on the Gold Coast.
Youth crime is a growing issue on the Gold Coast.

But a day after a 12-year-old boy appeared in the dock at Southport Magistrates Court pleading guilty to armed ­robbery, some of the State Government's most senior Ministers were unable to say how they would solve the issue.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who was on the Gold Coast yesterday, said "where are the parents?"

"What is that young person doing out? Why is a 12 year-old out and not at home," she said yesterday.

"There has been parental responsibility here as well. If the parents cannot look after their children then we can get support services in or someone else who can."

Young people are getting arrested and charged.
Young people are getting arrested and charged.

A poll of more than 2000 Gold Coast Bulletin readers last night found 90 per cent of respondents believe youth crime is out of control.

Readers cited concerns about public transport and hoons, with calls for harsher penalties.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said he "fully" understood the concerns and frustrations of Gold Coasters and insisted work was being done.

"I have raised the community's concerns with the Police Commissioner," he said.

"I am advised that police have been reviewing strategies and tactics to see if there are additional measures they can employ.

Ministers have defended the Government’s work.
Ministers have defended the Government’s work.

"I am advised that police have been reviewing strategies and tactics to see if there are additional measures they can employ.

"I am advised police ­strategies targeting high-risk offenders, including youth ­offenders, are proving successful."

Mr Ryan said that police statistics showed 85 per cent of the youths they have contact with don't go on to reoffend.

Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer said the Gold Coast community "has a right to be safe and feel safe".

"If a young person has committed an offence they should be held to account, and if you've been a victim of one of those offenders, you can be confident that we are going after those offenders," she said.

"We also want to address the causes of youth crime to break the cycle of offending in the first place, and of reoffending.

"That's why we've committed over half a billion dollars to taking youth justice reform out of the too hard basket, and addressing this issue once and for all.

"We are committed to long- term solutions as part of a whole of community approach that includes parents, families, and community leaders."


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