29 January, 2021
Law and/or order
OPINION - Last week in Mareeba there was a mini crime wave, with the post office building having windows smashed, cars driving through Constance street had rocks thrown at them and cars in the Coles and council car parks were damaged.
Last week in Mareeba there was a mini crime wave, with the
post office building having windows smashed, cars driving through Constance
street had rocks thrown at them and cars in the Coles and council car parks were damaged.
The above seems to be a fairly typical 48 hours in Mareeba.
In other news, I was recently involved in a road rage incident where a guy got out of his car in the middle of the highway and started trying to smash my window with his fist. I’m not sure what triggered him, maybe he doesn’t like this column.
I rang Triple-0 a few seconds later and was told I had to go to the police station to report my crime.
At the police station, I was told they were very busy, could I come back another time?
The next day I tried again but being a Saturday the police station was closed. I didn’t realise that crime took a holiday on the weekends.
On Sunday I tried at another station; three people were waiting in front of me who had already been there for over an hour.
On the fourth day (Monday) I finally got to see a very understanding and sympathetic senior constable who I cannot fault.
None of the above is the fault of the Queensland Police Service (QPS).
The fault lays with successive governments who have cut budgets to QPS and have done nothing to address crime.
How can a police station be closed in the middle of the weekend? and why did a mini crime spree take place over a 48-hour period in Mareeba last week? The answer to both questions is, there are not enough officers or resources for the police. Insiders tell me that senior officers are leaving quicker than they can be replaced.
And why wouldn’t they, they get abused, spat on, possibly bashed or stabbed. It’s a thankless task and when they do apprehend a criminal, they get a slap on the wrist and are straight back on the street. Some officers have told me all the paperwork and overtime is not worth it, they just give up.
Nearly 12 months ago, The Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui held an emergency round table meeting to tackle the growing youth crime problem in Mareeba. We are still waiting for some solid action.
We can have round tables and conversations until the next election comes around or we can have swift and consistent punishment for offences regardless of age. When a minor (under 12) is tried for an offence, the parents or guardians should be required to attend the proceedings so that the judge can get a sense of the family situation. If parents don’t turn up or the offending continues they can also be charged. We need to make sure that people know there are consequences to their actions and when they do wrong, the police will respond.
When it comes to serious recidivist offenders there should be nothing but firm justice.
Law and order is not working, it’s time for action and justice.
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