Residents demand police station for Bushland Beach
BUSHLAND Beach residents have rallied around a parliamentary e-petition calling for a police station to be built after an alarming rise in criminal activity in the area.
The petition, which was started by local resident Kaye Greaves and is sponsored by Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto, has already attracted 600 signatures since it was launched last Wednesday.
Mr Dametto said it was clear residents in the area wanted a greater police presence.
“Many residents have been in contact with me directly or with my office to express their grave concerns over the sharp rise in juvenile and adult criminal activity in their usually quiet suburb. Their patience is wearing thin as they deal with daily incidents of unlawful entry, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, theft, vandalism, assault and other anti-social behaviour in the Bushland Beach and Mount Low area,” he said.
“Residents have called for a police station to be built. There’s no doubt a stronger police presence in the area would make them feel safer and may help alleviate the strain on the existing Deeragun Police Station, which takes in an area extending from Shaw up to Toolakea.
“Northern beaches residents have had enough, and a group is currently working with QPS to explore the option of starting a Neighbourhood Watch so that they can be part of the solution.
“Make no mistake. The escalation of events over the past week in Townsville is a stark reminder that we are in the grip of a youth and adult crime crisis. Unfortunately, the northern beaches have not been immune. Hinchinbrook residents have a right to feel safe in their own homes, out in public spaces and on our roads.”
Mr Dametto added that the government needed to amend the Youth Justice Act to reflect community expectations and to become a deterrent to would-be and repeat offenders.
“I don’t care if you’re 16 or 26, if you break the law you should be doing the time. Katter’s Australian Party has long advocated for our relocation sentencing policy to be adopted. This would give magistrates a harsh third option when sentencing. Young offenders would be sentenced to do six to 12 months on an approved remote property west of Mt Isa – not to some holiday camp. Queenslanders don’t want these kids out on bail wreaking havoc on our streets. They should be out of our community serving their time, learning discipline and life skills with the intention of breaking the crime cycle,” he said.
“It’s obvious the State Labor Government’s weak as water youth justice policies are doing nothing to deter these offenders. Simply put, they don’t fear the current consequences.
“I ask once again the same question I’ve put to the State Government for three years – what will it take for them to put a stop to this crime crisis?”