Detention must be first defence from recidivist youth offenders

Research output: Contribution to journalNewspaper ArticleProfessional

Abstract

[Extract]
HOW many more must die to fix the youth justice system?

Queenslanders are rightly outraged at the deaths of two innocent bystanders last week, allegedly caused by a teenager driving a stolen car.

Last week’s events are a culmination of several factors that affect youth crime. These factors include changes in youth offending, weak bail laws, a lack of housing for youths in detention, an explosion in stolen vehicles, the raising of the legal age of a child from 17 to 18 and a no-pursuit policy.

Why wouldn’t you steal a car when you know the police cannot chase you? The genesis of Queensland’s no-pursuit policy can be found in 2010 coronial recommendations on fatal accidents during police pursuits.

In Australia, each year there are more than 3000 police pursuits. Fewer than 1 per cent of those result in a fatal accident.

All police operations involve risks to the public and police. The circumstances in which pursuits are allowed are limited; only one of the four grounds for a pursuit allows for an offence such as a stolen vehicle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8
JournalThe Courier Mail
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021

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