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Queensland Woes — Youth Gangs and Reduced Police Force

In 2019, crimes in Queensland rose by two per cent. What’s alarming is weapons offences spiked by 18 per cent or a rate of 13 for every 100,000 residents. Considering New South Wales and Victoria have managed to reduce the incidents of crime, residents are alarmed at the rising trend of criminality in Queensland.

From Eight to Five

Reduced police visibility is one of the factors affecting the rise in crime. In 2013, former Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart’s restructured the Queensland Police Service (QPS) — condensing eight police regions into five and police districts from 31 to 15.

The purpose of the restructure was to increase community safety; increase officer safety and morale; boost the efficiency of service; reduce the fear of crime and improve accountability. But the restructuring of the QPS failed to meet its goals.

Before the organisational changes in 2013, there were 9,300 reported crimes per 100,000 residents for the year. Instead of dropping, crime statistics continued to spike every year (except for a small drop in 2014), rising to over 10,000 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019 or more than 540,000 total offences.

The Gold Coast was hit particularly hard — with an increase of more than 15 per cent in its crime rate. The restructure also failed in increasing service efficiency. Costs of policing provisions rose by as much as seven per cent, and residents’ satisfaction with the service has also declined.

Starting Young

youth gangThe rise of youth gangs is also a growing concern among Queensland residents. With young offenders (some of them repeat offenders) becoming even more brazen, groups like the Northside and Southside gangs are posting their illegal activities online. Stealing cars and taunting police officers have become the norm, knowing the law will judge them with kid gloves. Repeat offenders scoff at being caught, treating their time in detention as short breaks where they are treated rather well. These repeat offenders are responsible for close to half of all youth crimes in Queensland.

What Makes Your Home a Target

Queensland reported close to 50,000 break-ins the past year — almost one in every 10 minutes. Whether in urban centres like Brisbane or rural places like Mareeba, certain factors can make your home a target for break-ins. Burglars often scout their targets, looking for easy access or minimal security, such as unlocked doors and windows. Garage panel doors that need repairs can also provide access to your house in Mareeba, putting your family at risk.

Simple measures like skylights, alarm systems or CCTV cameras can be enough to dissuade potential burglars, and so will simply leaving your lights on during the night. Burglars will also look for signs that a house is unoccupied. Filled mailboxes, no visible lights at night and no vehicles on the curb are indications that residents are away and the house is easy prey.

Queensland’s crime rate may not go down significantly in the next few years. Without a proper plan and a firm hand to address crimes yet, residents should take measures to protect themselves and deter criminals from targetting their homes.

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