KAP adds voice to crime meeting

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto inspects the burn-out remains of a car at Saunders Beach.

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has joined forces with a host of civic leaders of Townsville to discuss solutions to resolving the city’s crime crisis.

The Katter’s Australian Party MP attended together with KAP State leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter in an apolitical forum hosted by the Townsville Bulletin on Monday, which featured a cross-section of political, business and community representatives.

Mr Dametto said several topics were discussed at the meeting, including the community feeling unsafe, the dangers criminals posed to the community, deterrents for offenders, relocation sentencing and getting offenders back to country.

“No one department or political party should feel they have all the answers on this issue, nor should we expect one department or the police to solve all our problems. This will need to be a collaborative effort led by civic leaders and backed by the community,” he said.

“Rehabilitation for offenders was a hot topic discussed during the meeting but the cold hard facts are there are around 50 persons within the Townsville community that are causing most of the trouble, and it’s important to note not all of these offenders are locals. Some are blow-ins from all over the state.”

Mr Dametto said the concept of relocation sentencing, a long held KAP policy, had support from some stakeholders at the meeting as a way of reforming young offenders.

“Academics who attended the meeting expressed support for a version of relocation sentencing and there seemed to be similar consensus amongst those attending on the idea as a possible third option for magistrates,” he said.

“I felt during the meeting most people took the opportunity to get their point across but it’s ultimately up to the State Government now to either take some of these recommendations on board or continue with their current approach towards crime in Townsville and the greater northern region.”

While Townsville’s crime problems were the focus of the meeting, Mr Dametto said he was under no illusions that similar issues existed across Hinchinbrook.

“I think the situation we discussed at the meeting could easily apply to towns like Ingham, Rollingstone, Forrest Beach or Cardwell,” Mr Dametto said.

“That’s why I will be attending a Crime Prevention Seminar at the Hinchinbrook Community Support Centre along Townsville Road on November 21 from 5:30pm to 7pm.

“The event will feature presentations from Crime Stoppers, police, and security firms, which will no doubt provide valuable information to help galvanise business owners and the community.”

Nick Dametto MP