Repeat youth offenders targeted with ‘suite of initiatives'


Queensland's youth criminals will face new penalties after reforms were introduced in Parliament yesterday in a "suite of initiatives" aimed at targeting repeat offenders.

Courts would get more powers under the reforms, allowing them to fit GPS trackers for recidivist high-risk offenders aged 16 and 17; create a presumption against bail; and seek assurance from parents and guardians that bail conditions would be met.

A new trial would also allow Gold Coast police in the nightclub district to use wands to try and identify knives being carried by people, giving them the power to search anyone who doesn't comply.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll told breakfast radio that all of the reforms would work in unison to target youth crime.

"I don't want people to look at this in isolation but part of the entire suite of options and certainly I think they will be quite effective," she said.


Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Picture: Alix Sweeney


"What GPS trackers allow you to do, if you see someone you can intervene early, if someone takes the tracker off or we know they're in an area where they shouldn't be, they're up to no good, you can prevent that crime happening a lot earlier."

She said the new provisions would mean young offenders would need to prove they weren't a risk to the community before bail was granted against them.

The trial on the Gold Coast would help target what Commissioner Carroll said was a global trend.

"As a trend we're seeing across the world young children as young as 13 and 14 carrying knives in public places."

"Unfortunately we've had tragic deaths where young children are carrying knives and killing each other and it gives us a form of defence.

"It really is saying to the public if you come into a safe night precinct expect that you may be wanded and we won't need a suspicion to do that."

Originally published as Repeat youth offenders targeted with 'suite of initiatives'