1 July, 2022
Crime group calls for justice changes
MEMBERS of the Mareeba Crime Action Group (MCAG) have made a detailed submission regarding a forthcoming review of the Queensland Justice Act centring on a Criminal Procedure Review of Magistrates Courts.
The submission mirrors a raft of resolutions passed at a rally held in Mareeba last December, attended by more than 500 people who turned out to make their views known about the level of crime the community was experiencing.
MCAG spokesperson Denis McKinley said that under the current Magistrates’ decisions review system, the greater Queensland community was seeing recidivist criminals given a “get out of jail or associated penalty free card”.
“More often than not, they are back on the streets again within 24 hours of appearing in any of the State’s Magistrates Courts on charges levelled as a result of Queensland Police Service charges,” he said.
Mr McKinley said people and property were being targeted by “nothing less than career criminals whose defending legal representatives use anything at hand or imagined from culture to supposed mistreatment as some excuse for breaking the law”.
He said that despite excellent work and endeavours of the police and Magistrates Courts, the current sentence review system left little hope for any change in the creation of a growing number of career criminals.
Mr McKinley said the submission to the Queensland Justice Act review was long overdue and had to reflect the values and standards of the greater number of law abiding citizens rather than the growing number of criminals.
He claims while there were proposed anti-crime strategies to tackle the continued highly elevated incidents of crime against people and property both locally and across the State, there “seemed to be no application deterrent nor acceptable process in a State-wide system that more favours the perpetrators of crime rather than the victims of crime and their communities”.
He said that despite long term and ongoing strategy meetings involving a large number of agencies including Queensland Police, support groups, children’s agencies and local government, there had been little, if any, positive results to come from previous “talk fest approaches”.
As well as reflecting the resolutions passed at last year’s crime rally, the MCAG submission also requested a more efficient and relevant review of Magistrate Court decisions.
He said it was in the public interest that the submissions and review would enforce and correct the current imbalance that clearly existed between the Justice System and the State’s Magistrates Courts and general public standards and expectations.