State News

Labor’s stolen car sentencing laws all bark, no bite

29 December 2023

Youth Crime Crisis continues to worsen under weak laws
No youth offenders sentenced to the 14-years promised under crime laws


New data has exposed Labor’s so-called “tough” laws have failed to arrest Queensland’s spiralling Youth Crime Crisis.

Twelve months ago today, the Queensland Labor Government announced its new youth crime laws would see youth offenders sentenced for 14 years for stealing cars, however, the LNP can now reveal not a single youth offender has received a 14-year sentence.

In fact, no youth offender has received more than a 1-year sentence for stealing cars. 

The abject failure of the laws to deliver the “tough” approach Labor promised is another symptom of Labor’s chaos and crisis, and their own admission the policy “cupboard is bare” and they don’t know where to turn to combat youth crime.

In the past year, youth stolen car crimes have skyrocketed a whopping 33%, while the number of repeat youth criminals have jumped by 20%.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said Queenslanders deserved better than a government that wasn’t taking youth crime seriously.

“Once again, Labor has been exposed as being all bark and no bite when it comes to responding to youth crime,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“Their weak laws and fewer police on the beat are what created the Queensland Youth Crime Crisis in the first place and they admit they don’t know how to fix it.

“In the wake of the tragedy one year ago, Labor promised Queenslanders they were cracking down on youth crime with young car thieves facing increased penalties of 14 years detention, but now we learn the maximum penalty dolled-out is just 12 months.

“This is not the tough-on-crime approach Queenslanders are demanding and deserve.”

Shadow Minister for Youth Justice and Victim Support said Queenslanders were paying the price of Labor’s announcement on the run, that was failing to deliver on its promise.

“Labor and the Premier need to step-up to the plate on youth crime and finally start taking it seriously,” Ms Gerber said. 

“Once again, Labor has failed to equip our Police and our Courts with the laws needed to deliver the appropriate consequence for action to youth offenders.

“It’s no wonder we’re seeing repeat offender rates surge when offenders are receiving detention as a last resort.

“The LNP’s priority is making our community safer, because this is a priority for Queenslanders.”

SOURCE: Youth Justice Reform Select Committee Question on Notice