The ugly face of the state’s youth crime crisis has again reared its head over the weekend, with young criminals taking advantage of the bustle of the Goldfield Ashes in Charters Towers.

Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter again expressed his fury, saying that the crisis was no longer just an issue for crime hotspots like Townsville, Mount Isa and Cairns, and that it was now spreading to the state’s small country towns.

“I myself was in Charters Towers over the weekend participating in the cricket where members of the team I was playing in were directly affected by these criminal acts.

“I will be speaking with local police regarding the issue – they, along with locals, will have my full support,” Mr Katter said.

“They all need to know that we are aware of these issues and we won’t be staying quiet on the matter.”

Mr Katter advised that the KAP had called for tougher sentencing following the Queensland Premier’s recent weak response to the spiralling crisis.

“The Premier’s response to the state’s crime crisis, triggered by the tragic death of Emma Lovell in Brisbane, was increased maximum penalties and more detention centres.

“Detention centres are clearly not working, and the promise of additional centres implies that the Premier is expecting this crisis to worsen.

“I challenge you to find a criminal who has received the current maximum penalty of seven years, let alone someone who will receive the increased penalty.

“There’s no point extending the maximum penalty if you’re not serving them out,” Mr Katter said.

Instead, he said a minimum penalty was needed.

“Tougher sentencing matched with a trial of the KAP’s Relocation Sentencing Policy is what we will continue to call for.

“Relocation sentencing would see young criminals forced into very remote areas, breaking up the collaboration of friends and families in detention centres where they are scheming their next joy ride.”

The approach would potentially act as a circuit-breaker and give the children a real chance at becoming active members of society.

“While the Premier continues to sit on her hands, barely pretending that she is listening, we will continue to shout until our voices are heard,” Mr Katter insisted.

“Something needs to change, and it needs to be soon.”


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