Crackdown to make parents call cops on their own kids

 

Parents and carers could be required to phone the police on their own children if they reoffend while out on bail under the Palaszczuk Government's youth crackdown.

The Courier-Mail can reveal how new laws, to be introduced in parliament today, seek to involve caregivers in helping police crush a crime wave being waged by about 400 "hardcore" young offenders across the state.

Drawn up in response to the horrific deaths of Kate Leadbetter, Matty Field, their unborn son Miles and aspiring police officer Jennifer Board, laws will allow judges and magistrates to call carers, including foster families and residential care managers to their courtrooms while deciding bail.

More children will be remanded in custody under a youth justice crackdown.
More children will be remanded in custody under a youth justice crackdown.

They will be able to require caregivers to promise they will be responsible for the child and make sure they don't break curfews and reoffend before they can be granted bail.

Children whose caregivers refuse to front would be remanded in custody to guarantee community safety.

It's understood carers could be hauled back to court if they don't keep their promise, and don't tell police if the child continues their offending.

The change comes after police complaints that children were being bailed over and over again, even when they were lying about having a stable place to live.

Police have also been frustrated that children were going missing, sometimes for weeks, before police were told their caregivers no longer knew where they were or what they were up to.

The laws will reverse the onus of proof for children who are accused of committing a serious indictable offence while already on bail, requiring them to prove why they should be given bail again.

It's currently the job of police prosecutors to prove why they should be remanded to custody.

The list of prescribed offences will be released today but will include crimes like armed robbery, car theft and violent offences.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Laws changed two years ago stated courts could not decide there was an unacceptable risk to the community just because the child would not have adequate accommodation or had no apparent family support.

The new laws will strengthen the fact that risk to the community must be the number one consideration when deciding bail.

It follows a day in which youth justice laws dominated parliament, with Opposition Leader David Crisafulli again demanding the government make breach of bail a stand-alone offence.

Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard said the government was instead making sure courts treated offending while on bail as an aggravating circumstance when imposing a sentence.

This, coupled with the reverse onus of proof regarding bail, "are far stronger options than establishing a separate offence of breach of bail" which was previously "unworkable" and "did not result in a harsher penalty", she said.

Originally published as Crackdown to make parents call cops on their own kids



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