Hot-button issue has Queenslanders fuming
Youth crime has become a hot-button issue for Queenslanders, with residents particularly angry about brazen incidents and lenient sentences being dished out by courts.
The Courier-Mail's Your Say 2020 sentiment survey has revealed 82.6 per cent of Queenslanders believe the state's courts need to get tougher in sentencing juvenile criminals.
And 79 per cent of north Queenslanders felt they had a youth crime problem in their area, along with 64 per cent of people in far north Queensland.
Over 51 per cent of survey respondents in the state's south, outside of the Greater Brisbane and Gold Coast areas, also said they had a youth crime problem.
Forest Lake, Inala and Sunnybank Hills were named earlier this year as the top three worst suburbs in Brisbane for offences associated with youth crime, such home and car theft, according to the RACQ.
Logan and the Gold Coast accounted for more than half of Queensland's insurance claims last year, the RACQ said.
Alice Savill, 18, has experienced the Gold Coast's youth crime issue first-hand, having had her Audi A4 convertible stolen in February.
The teens responsible then allegedly filmed themselves joy riding in the vehicle across the southeast before police caught up with them.
Ms Savill believes Queensland's court system is not tough enough on youth offenders.
"Even just around my neighbourhood and community, the amount of crimes reported, especially in relation to juvenile crimes, has been disgraceful - it is an ongoing issue, breaking and entering, stealing cars, stealing from people's homes and damaging property," Ms Savill said.
"In my opinion it has become one of the most serious problems facing the safety of Queensland, especially south Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
"The issue is that they're committing adult crimes and therefore should be punished with consequences like adults."
Hamilton resident and lawyer Aaron Roberts also had his car stolen earlier this month, by three 13-year-olds.
As in Ms Savill's case, the offenders were quickly caught, but Mr Roberts believes Queensland's current approach to youth justice isn't rehabilitating offenders.
"We really need to be looking at some sort of system, like putting them into some sort of military schooling," he said.
"Real compassion would be coming up with something that could help their lives. The justice department has got their hands tied, they can't really do much about it.
"The legal framework doesn't allow for youth offenders to change - all they have is to go to youth detention."
Originally published as Hot-button issue has Queenslanders fuming