Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke
    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Mark Ryan

    Youth crime blitz delivers results in first year

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Mark Ryan

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    Youth crime blitz delivers results in first year

    The overall crime rate in Townsville has dropped by about eight per cent since the Palaszczuk Government in October 2016 rolled out a comprehensive, community-led plan to tackle youth crime.

    While visiting Townsville’s newest First Year Constables, Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan and the Townsville Stronger Communities Action Group welcomed the results of the five-point plan.

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Chair of the government’s Directors-General group overseeing the plan to reduce youth crime in Townsville, Coralee O’Rourke, said extensive work had also been done to identify and stop young repeat offenders and young people at risk of offending.

    “Through extensive analysis, the Townsville Stronger Communities Action Groupidentified that 50 of the most prolific property offenders between the ages of ten and 24 are collectively responsible for 40 per cent of all property offences committed by people in their age group and 24 per cent of all property offences of people of all ages,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “The focus now is on continuing to identify the needs of these young people and ensure they have access to support including education, training, health services, substance abuse rehabilitation and domestic and family violence referrals.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with the local community to tackle these issues, and this latest data shows that our integrated, whole-of-government approach is the right one and I hope we will continue to see real progress in breaking the cycle of crime in Townsville.”

    Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Palaszczuk Government had listened to locals with the development of the five-point plan to improve community safety and confidence.

    “As a principal, I saw firsthand that young people committing crimes are often impacted by a number of external factors, whether that’s a dysfunctional family, drugs, alcohol, mental health or something else,” he said.

    “That’s why youth offending is such a multi-faceted and complex issue that requires a considered and dedicated approach by many government agencies, both state and local, as well as the Townsville community.”

    Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper praised the success of the representatives from the Queensland Police Service, Justice and Attorney-General, Communities, Education, Housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, and Health as part of the Townsville Stronger Communities Action Group.

    “The results already evident since the group kicked off last year show that we are on the right track to cracking down on not just crime but, more importantly, the cycle of crime,” he said.

    “We know there is more work to be done to stop further offending, but this interagency group is the formula to achieve that and we will continue to work hard for the people of Townsville.”

    The latest data shows that in the year since police first began its blitz on youth crime in late September 2016, there have been significant reductions in the rate of certain offences in the Townsville Local Government Area compared to the year prior to the implementation of the plan. (October 2015-September 2016 versus October 2016-September 2017)

    Some of the results include:

    • An eight per cent drop in the overall crime rate;
    • A 12 per cent drop in the rate of offences against property;
    • A stabilising of the rate of offences against the person (no change);
    • A 14 per cent drop in the rate of stealing offences;
    • A 19 per cent drop in the rate of stolen vehicles; and
    • A 31 per cent drop in the rate of stealing from vehicles. 

    Mr Ryan said local police were continuing to work hard with the community to target young offenders across the Townsville area.

    “While quashing the cycle of crime is not just about more men and women in blue, I am pleased to be part of a government that is delivering more police than ever before in Townsville,” he said.

    “It was great to meet the 10 new First Year Constables that have joined the ranks in Townsville since June. I look forward to welcoming the 15 other First Year Constables headed to Townsville by the end of this year.

    “I understand the community’s concerns about crime, and I can reassure locals that our new FYCs are up to job.”

    Northern Region Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor said the Queensland Police Service was working hard, establishing a new Chief Superintendent position to assist senior management and frontline officers, as well as establishing the Townsville Community Policing Board in May 2016.

    “Local police are also leveraging off the fantastic work done during Operation Oscar Merchant earlier this year which saw police making 1449 arrests and laying 3772 charges by the time it wrapped up in March,” Assistant Commissioner Taylor said.

    “As well, ranks of the Rapid Action and Patrol (RAP) group will also expand by 20 officers to 45.”

    Media contacts:

    Minister O’Rourke’s office, Ben Mulcahy 0419 562 389

    Minister Ryan’s office, Emma McBryde 0447 155 332