“Townsville Crimes” – The sad reality of life in North Queensland

11th July 2022

State Member for Hinchinbrook and KAP Deputy Leader Nick Dametto.

Offenders doing burnouts in stolen cars and driving into oncoming traffic, violent car jackings and a spike in break and enters across the city over the weekend has Townsville being likened to its own game of Grand Theft Auto, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has said.

The Hinchinbrook MP has said the havoc caused on Townsville roads over the weekend was just another example of the Palaszczuk Government failing North Queenslanders on crime.

“What we saw on the weekend was dangerous criminal behavior running rampant in our streets; the worst part is, it’s nothing new,” Mr Dametto said.

“Why does it seem that these kids and criminals have more of a right to safety than the rest of us?

“We’ve been suffering under this crime crisis for far too long and while the Government teeter around the edges of this issue, the people of Townsville will continue to live in fear and foot the bill.”

Mr Dametto said people had lost faith in not only the Government of the day, but also raised concerns that police have limited ability to administer the law under current Labor policies.

“Do we want to live in a society where people have given up on the law? It seems that internal policy and procedures are holding the hardworking officers back from administering the full force of the law, effectively writing a hall pass for these offenders,” Mr Dametto said.

“In many cases you have more chance of finding your car dumped in Townsville or burnt out after it has been stolen, than the police pursuing and intercepting the criminals who are responsible.

“I’m calling on the State Government and the Commissioner to let the police do their jobs – give them back the powers to once again pursue stolen vehicles, let them stop the problem at the bud.”

Mr Dametto said on top of his calls for the Government to find ways to intercept vehicles, mandatory sentencing for offenders found guilty of the unlawful use of a motor vehicle and car-jacking offences would be a necessary deterrent if there was any chance to slow down the trend.

“Police officers are working night and day to keep us safe, the least they deserve from this Government is policy and legislation to back them up,” Mr Dametto said.

“This is why last year I called for adult offenders charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle and car jacking to face mandatory three years in prison, and to remove detention as a last resort for youth offenders.”

– ENDS –

Nick Dametto MP