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Town curfew keeps kids off the street at night

SUN SETS ON STREET PROBLEMS: Miriam Vale teenagers Brad Russell, Lachlan Lavia and Jacob Crasti.
SUN SETS ON STREET PROBLEMS: Miriam Vale teenagers Brad Russell, Lachlan Lavia and Jacob Crasti. Mike Richards

THE secret is out. Miriam Vale has a law of its own.

For 15 years the children of Miriam Vale have not been allowed on the streets on their own after 8pm.

If children under 16 are seen by police, their parents are contacted to pick them up, or the police take them home.

Police Senior Sergeant Owen Harms said it was a local strategy to ensure the safety of his town's youth and, he said, it was a practice the whole town was behind.

"Our kids know that they are supposed to be under supervision so they toe the line and behave themselves," he said.

"When we see some out, we ask 'why are they out without their parent or guardian?'"

Snr Sgt Harms said like all good country towns, Miriam Vale had expectations for its kids.

"It is a police expectation that has been agreed upon by the town and it's the rules," he said.

"We don't have a big problem with youths on the streets, and that's part of the reason."

Mother of three children under 16, Sharlene Watson, said she didn't think kids should be out after 8pm anyway.

"Our local sergeant makes all the students aware. Every Friday he reminds them the curfew is in place," she said.

"It's a safe town but you can never be too sure."

Miriam Vale State School principal Craig Hazen said he backed the curfew for kids' safety.

"We are a small town right off the highway with transient people coming through day and night," he said.

"Sergeant Harms and his group are absolutely fantastic. He can identity most of the kids and talk to them or ring their home.

"It's a community effort. We keep them busy with activities every afternoon so they are not bored and wanting to roam the streets."

THE CRIME RATE

  • 28 traffic-related offences
  • 14 drug offences
  • 7 other theft
  • 4 other property damage
  • 5 good order
  • 1 unlawful use of motor vehicle
  • 2 Weapons Act offences
  • 1 unlawful entry

- According to Qld Crime Map, November 3, 2013, to November 3, 2014

Topics:  editors picks, handsoff, miriam vale, queensland police, youth




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