A petition calling for the government to impose a curfew on youth in Townsville has been rejected by the Queensland parliament.
The petition, which attracted nearly 6000 signatures in a month and a half, asked the government to put a curfew in place that would keep kids aged 16 and under off the streets between 11pm and 5am. Why?
Because apparently, youth crime in Townsville is off the fucken charts.
At least, that’s what residents are saying. Certainly reports of residents’ car keys being stolen from their homes in the middle of the night don’t help the town’s image, nor does the currently-circulating footage of what looks like teenage fight clubs on the streets.
Townsville locals have been trying to get something done about the youth “crime wave” since 2013, when another petition clocked more than 3000 signatures (and was similarly knocked back).
However, Acting Attorney General Dr Anthony Lynham has said that while T-ville residents might be feeling rattled by stories of carjackings and bands of wandering youths, less than 1% of the youth population in Townsville have actually got in trouble with the law – and half of this particular crime wave is the work of just 40 kids.
Dr Lynham went on to explain that youth curfews tend not to, y’know, work:
“Youth curfews have been common in the United States since the early 1990s. A recent systematic review of research on the effectiveness of those curfews did not show they were effective in reducing crime and victimisation.“
He also suggested that imposing a curfew that would turn any squirt giving their new bike a spin around the block into a criminal might not be the best thing for keeping down youth crime, saying that a curfew could “have the undesired effect of drawing more young people into the youth justice system.“
I know kids are scary. They have a fluency with Snapchat that approaches wizardry, and they have so many friends – but trust, they’re not all out to murder us. Forcing them all to stay inside seems like a great way to breed a generation of angry, alienated alt-right sympathisers. Let the kids play in the streets – just tell them to stay out the way of all the snakes.
Source: Townsville Bulletin.