20 Dec HUMAN TOLL OF YOUTH CRIME CRISIS HIDDEN AS POLITICKING REIGNS SUPREME
The human toll of Queensland’s youth crime crisis remains forgotten collateral as the new Labor Premier and Cabinet, and the LNP Opposition, continue to grandstand and politick around the issue, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.
Mr. Katter said neither major party had a serious solution to Queensland’s youth crime issue.
The North Queensland MP said he had been recently contacted by Gemma Catchpole, a young Mount Isa mother whose husband is battling brain cancer and is coming to grips with the devastating aftermath of her family’s second car stolen within the past year.
In both instances young offenders unlawfully entered her family’s home, seizing the car keys and fleeing with the family vehicle.
This recent incident has taken an especially heavy toll on her and her family, as their vehicle was declared a write-off, leaving them without transport to get Gemma’s partner, who has been diagnosed with stationary brain cancer, to his vital medical appointments.
Ms. Catchpole expressed her distress, describing the invasion of their home and being left with the financial burden of the theft.
“I feel victims of crime have little to no support dealing with the consequences of these crimes and we are put under a lot of financial pressure to cover the costs caused by the criminal actions of these young offenders,” she said.
“It makes me angry that there are no proper repercussions for these offenders, they might get a short sentence of a couple of months and be back on the streets continuing doing crime.
Mr. Katter said he was infuriated and disheartened to hear of Ms. Catchpole’s ordeal.
“Mount Isa residents are sick of dealing with the crippling youth crime rate and are left feeling they are unable to ensure the safety of their families and possessions,” he said.
“Car theft numbers as well as residential and business break-ins are already amongst the highest in the State on a per capita basis and, alarmingly, are rising every day.”
Mount Isa, a town of around 20,000 people, has chronically high crime figures.
In 2023, Mount Isa had on average, nine break-ins, and four cars stolen per week1.
As a Mount Isa resident, the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime is 1 in 32.
“These numbers are unacceptable; the situation is completely out of control, and it seems that the Queensland Government continues to sit on their hands watching youth-related crime rise at an alarming rate all the while expecting Queenslanders to trust their youth justice system,” Mr. Katter said.
“The impact of these criminal activities is eroding the sense of security that every Queenslander is entitled to.
“I will continue to push for significant action by the government on youth crime and continue to put the focus on the KAP’s Relocation Sentencing policy as we believe it can effectively dismantle the youth crime crisis.”
IMAGE: Robbie Katter MP and Ms. Gemma Catchpole