Kids on Roof
Kids on Roof

Shocking cost of juvenile delinquents gone wild

JUVENILE delinquents cost taxpayers more than $600,000 in less than six months to fix damage they'd caused running amok in youth detention centres, with the figure set to eclipse last year's bill.

Between January 1 and June 30 this year, there were 124 incidents with the vast majority of a "minor nature" costing under $500.

The massive bill, which hit $640,012 during that period, is on track to beat last year's eye-watering total of $702,422.

Offenders caused damage to light switches, walls, doors and locking mechanisms while the state's controversial bail houses were also graffitied.

The figure can be revealed amid overcrowding issues in the state's youth detention centres after the Government's decision to move 17-year-olds out of adult prisons.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington seized on the "staggering figures", claiming the system was "failing" at getting kids back on track.

"We have massive overcrowding issues due to Labor's incompetency and juvenile offenders getting away with damaging property time after time without consequence," she said.

Child Safety, Youth and Women Minister Di Farmer and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Liam Kidston
Child Safety, Youth and Women Minister Di Farmer and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Liam Kidston

" (Annastacia) Palaszczuk's bail houses are also a failed experiment and should be scrapped.

"I feel for the youth detention centre staff who are obviously under immense pressure and Labor's Youth Justice Minister should hang her head in shame."

Offenders may be required to repair damage and participate in mediation while having restricted access to incentive systems.

Child Safety, Youth and Women Minister Di Farmer said staff worked closely with young people who damaged property.

"When appropriate, young people who cause property damage in youth detention may be referred to police for prosecution," she said.

"We've allocated $8.1 million in 2019-20 to fund an extra 65 staff across both of Queensland's youth detention centres to help reduce property damage and assaults, manage challenging behaviours and make sure both staff and young people are safe.

"New security upgrades currently underway will also help us monitor the behaviour of young people more effectively."

Between January 1 and June 30 this year, there were also six minor incidents reported at bail houses, costing about $410 in repair costs.



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