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Dametto: Crime in North Queensland has no boundaries

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto is urging the State Government to leave the criminal age at 10 rather than increasing it to 12.

CHAOS unfolded in the back streets of Cardwell Thursday as a stolen vehicle, driven by juveniles, ran riot ramming parked cars and narrowly missing the footpath on a joy ride from Mackay.  

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said the community was furious with the Labor Government for turning a blind eye and pretending the North does not have a youth crime problem.

“This isn’t perception, it’s reality.

“This State Government is hell-bent on driving a ‘zero casualties’ campaign when it comes to road safety, yet they are happy to let these criminals run wild on our streets and highways, weaponizing stolen vehicles,” Mr Dametto said.

The stolen F-150 wreaked havoc on the streets of Townsville, with the drivers decided to make their way to Cairns.

The juvenile driver detoured through Cardwell’s back streets, and collected two parked vehicles along Brasenose Street and eventually came to a stop.

It was reported a second vehicle then picked up the occupants and headed north towards Cairns before being intercepted and detained by police officers in Innisfail.

“Mackay to Innisfail is a seven hour drive – North Queensland is lucky that nobody was seriously injured or killed thanks to these idiots; I’d hate to tally up the total cost of damages for this latest escapade,” Mr Dametto said.

Locals involved in Thursday’s incident in Cardwell stated the only strategy in place for QPS officers was to “wait for the allegedly stolen dual-cab and sedan to run out of fuel”.

“Allegedly, officers are very limited in what they can do when it comes to intercepting and deploying tyre stingers,” Mr Dametto said.

“Instead of being able to focus solely on public safety, I’m concerned our police are in fear of the threat of the findings of an internal review when something goes wrong.

“Surely there must be alternative strategies to protect road users and the community rather than just waiting for the vehicle to run out of fuel,” he said.

Following the rampage, Mr Dametto is urging the State Labor Government to leave the criminal age at 10 rather than increasing it to 12.

Recently, a Queensland Greens Party Private Member’s Bill that proposed to increase the criminal age to 14 was rejected but the reviewing Committee said the Government should consider increasing the criminal age of responsibility to 12.

“We believe that the Committee should not even be considering raising the criminal age to 12 – this would do nothing to make our streets safer, with the only positive outcome for Government being able to cook the books on youth crime figures,” KAP’s Deputy Leader said.

“Trialling the KAP’s Relocation Sentencing Policy, which is widely supported by the community and is designed to be a circuit-breaker to the current juvenile crime crisis cycle, is a far more effective strategy”.

The Hinchinbrook MP thanked the QPS officers in Innisfail for intercepting and protecting the community.

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