Australia Qld considers e-monitoring young offenders
COVID-19, crime and child safety on Townsville minds as Queensland Cabinet sits in the city
With Queensland Cabinet sitting in the capital of North Queensland this week, organisations and residents are calling for solutions to a swathe of problems.Today, the North Queensland capital is hosting the first Cabinet meeting of the year, with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine scheduled for discussion.
The use of monitoring devices for young offenders is under consideration in Queensland, two years after it was recommended as part of a review into the state's youth justice system.
Examining the use of electronic monitoring as an alternative to youth detention was one of 77 recommendations in a report by former police commissioner Bob Atkinson.
There have been calls for a youth crime crackdown after a Brisbane couple and their unborn baby were killed when a teenager allegedly crashed a suspected stolen car last week.
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Much of the debate has centred on how and when young people charged with a crime are given bail.
Acting Premier Steven Miles confirmed the recommendation was not to use monitoring devices before sentencing.
"I think it's important to stress that when Bob Atkinson made that recommendation, it was as a possible alternative for detention. It didn't relate to use while on bail, but we can obviously consider that now," he said.
Asked why the government did not pursue it at the time, Dr Miles said the decision was made at an agency level and the technology was advancing.
"Now that has been put forward again, we'll consider it," he said.
Making breach of bail an offence is at the centre of the state opposition's criticism of the youth justice system.
QLD's top cop, LNP push youth bail reform
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll is pushing for a review of youth bail laws after a series of high-profile incidents.Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll told reporters of her frustrations on Sunday, after a number of high-profile incidents.
"If you don't restore breach of bail on day one, you're not fair dinkum, because that is where the root of the problem is," Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said.
"It has to be restored for the sake of everybody in the community, including the young offenders who just will not pull into line because they are seeing a system that treats them with kid gloves."
Of the report's 77 recommendations, Dr Miles said 76 had either been implemented or were in the process of being implemented.
The Queensland government is considering electronic tags and harsher sentences for repeat offenders, as suggested by the police union.
Police Minister Mark Ryan favours a broad approach that goes beyond issues of policing and punishment.
He said statistics showed most recidivist offenders were Indigenous, indicating that a more holistic approach was needed.
"They don't just wake up and become criminals," Mr Ryan said on Tuesday.
"There is a broader story there about the Closing the Gap processes around addressing some of those challenging backgrounds that obviously in some people manifests in criminal offending."
Qld youth offenders to be fitted with GPS .
The Queensland government will allow courts to fit GPS tracking devices to 16 and 17-year-old offenders in a statewide crackdown on youth crime.The state government's law and order crackdown comes after a series of road deaths involving young offenders, including a Brisbane couple and their unborn baby boy and a female motorcyclist in Townsville.