Coalition backbencher Phillip Thompson says the courts should crackdown on juvenile offenders in order to stymie the “crime epidemic” engulfing some regional communities.
Townsville has been particularly hard hit by an increase in crime, with 35,000 criminal offences recorded in 2019 and 621 break-ins recorded in February 2020 alone.
According to official data, 76 per cent of children who faced court in 2017 were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.
Mr Thompson told Sky News said police need to “be stronger” on youth criminals and put a stop to “the catch and release program” used by the Queensland state government.
"These offenders are breaking into people’s houses in the morning, released in the afternoon, caught again at night and because breach of bail isn’t a crime they get a nice little slap on the wrist and their back out doing it again,” he said.
“The police do a fantastic job but it’s about legislation".