Youth Justice reforms to crack down on recidivist offenders in Cairns

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

A suite of initiatives will be implemented in Cairns to target youth offenders.

The Queensland Police Service will establish a special operation by surging district police resources focused on property crime and high-risk recidivist offenders.

In addition, Cairns has been selected as the first location in Queensland to have a rollout of the first cohort of school-based police support officers.

These support officers will work in school communities to identify and support at-risk young people.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll and Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon, the newly appointed head of Queensland’s Youth Crime Taskforce, will visit Cairns in the near future to further explain what these new initiatives will mean.

Commissioner Carroll said all of the reforms that were announced today, in addition to those specific to Cairns, would support efforts to target recidivist offenders.

“It’s the hardcore offenders we are going after, they are the individuals causing concern in the community.

“And the new operation that will begin in Cairns is specifically aimed at that cohort of offenders.

“In relation to the Youth Crime Taskforce, I have great confidence in Assistant Commissioner Scanlon.

“She has worked extensively in Queensland’s north and understands the challenges that exist in this part of the state.”

Police Minister Mark Ryan welcomed the establishment of the new police operation targeting recidivist offenders in Cairns.

“In the last year we have seen the number of youth offenders fall by more than twenty percent.

“That is encouraging.

“But what is of great concern is the rate of offending by hardcore, recidivist offenders.

“They make up just ten percent of all offenders, but account for around half the crime.

“These are the people we will target and I welcome the new initiatives police are implementing in Cairns.”

Cairns MP Michael Healy said the reforms announced by the government today was what he had been advocating for.

“This hardline approach to recidivist offenders is what we need to target this small group of trouble makers who cause so much concern in the community.”

The Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, welcomed the rollout of school support police officers.

“Early intervention is critical, we need to get to troubled youths and support them before they turn into recidivist offenders.”

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt said Cairns police were demonstrating yet again their capacity to respond to community concern.

“By rolling out this new operation targeting recidivist offenders, Cairns police are demonstrating their commitment to the local community.”

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