19 Oct KAP CALLS FOR CHANGE AS CRIME VICTIMS FALL FOUL OF LAW
The Katter’s Australian Party will lobby the Palaszczuk Labor Government to provide legal protections to victims of crime, arguing the current system makes “criminals out of innocent people” whilst providing a hall pass to violent, recidivist juvenile offenders.
KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said he would personally push for legal reforms and would demand the State Government commit to addressing the way current Queensland laws work against law-abiding citizens.
Today, Mr Katter returned to the scene of a terrifying attempted carjacking, which saw 10 youths – one allegedly armed with a knife – set upon a young woman in her vehicle on Sunday evening in the Townsville CBD.
The woman has been left traumatised by the event, telling the Townsville Bulletin she was now motivated to push for changes to the Queensland youth justice system and the custody laws.
Mr Katter said the current Youth Justice Act needed to be thrown in the bin, and laws needed to be re-framed to protect victims rather than perpetrators.
“All too often we have people appealing to us that have had multiple attacks on themselves or their property, and once they have acted to chase or apprehend perpetrators they find they must defend themselves from prosecution while the criminals seem to be able to continue doing what they do,” he said.
“If the Government aren’t going to change any laws to fix this crime crisis, then there has to be some adjustment to people who quite fairly defend their own.
“If people aren’t adequately protected from criminals through the law, then they can’t be expected to placidly sit back and observe these atrocities when there are reasonable means within their power to defend against criminals.
“We are being forced into the position of needing to have this discussion, because the youth crime situation is only worsening across the State and Labor Government is essentially leaving the innocent to fend for themselves.”
Mr Katter said he would not encourage acts of vigilantism or legal protections for that behaviour, but rather legislative amendments or clarifications to be made around the issues of provocation and self-defence.
He said people must be assured they have a right to protect themselves from brazen and violent attacks.
“This is not calling for people walking the streets with burning torches and pitch forks, but rather putting protections in place to reduce the number of people who are labelled as criminals by the police and courts simply for standing up for their personal or property rights when targeted as a victim of crime,” Mr Katter said.
Recently published Queensland Police Service data shows violent and other crimes in North Queensland have hit historical highs over three successive years.
The statistics indicate there were 49,758 reported crimes in the Northern Region, which includes the Townsville and Mount Isa districts, in 2021.
The figure breaks the previous record of 44,446 crimes in 2020, and the record before that of 43,842 in 2019.
In 2022, there have been 35,247 crimes with three months remaining in the year.