Queensland’s controversial new crackdown on juvenile delinquency launches today (May 17th) and is bad news for the state’s worst offenders.
Repeat juvenile offenders can now be fitted with GPS tracking devices as part of bail so authorities always know where they are.
The new law was introduced to target around 400 repeat offenders, who are responsible for nearly half of all juvenile delinquency in Queensland, according to the AAP.
State Police Secretary Mark Ryan is confident that the GPS devices will be instrumental in keeping crime rates down.
“This attempt with GPS monitors provides the police and the courts with yet another tool to target the small minority who commit most of the crimes,” he said.
“Courts can order 16-17 year olds to wear GPS if they are given bail. This provides an extra layer of security and makes the community more secure.
“The devices are monitored around the clock by Queensland Corrective Services, who have extensive experience with this technology.”
Credit: NexPhase Security
The new legislation removes the “presumption of bail” for young people accused of bailing out serious crimes who are repeat offenders.
There is also a provision requiring the court to obtain confirmation from the juvenile offender’s parents or guardians that they are ready to be released from custody.
The plan has been criticized by the Greens for being too authoritative and the party believes that funds should instead be allocated to services that help vulnerable young people.
Green MP Michael Berkman told Parliament last week that the state government had decided with an iron fist and may not have achieved the results it had hoped for.
“It’s a shameful bill that will do absolutely nothing to improve security in the community,” he said Thursday. “I condemn the government for its spineless attack on the weakest in our society.”
The opposition and the Liberal National Party attempted to introduce a change in legislation that would make it a crime to violate the terms of the bail.
Opposition leader David Crisafulli believes this would have been a stronger deterrent to bad behavior.
“Everyone deserves a second chance, but we are not discussing that today,” he told Parliament. “We are discussing a system that gives people multiple opportunities, in some cases 20 opportunities.
“The amendment that the opposition is trying to put forward ensures that those given bail will be held accountable for their actions.”
The change could not be added.