State News

Labor’s youth crime policy cupboard remains bare, one year on

29 December 2023

Today marks one year since Steven Miles admitted Labor’s youth crime policy cupboard was bare, in the wake of the escalating Youth Crime Crisis.


On the 29th of December 2022, Labor was attempting to cobble-together an announcement on the run following the tragic death of Emma Lovell, when Steven Miles sent a text message saying “that’s almost everything in the cupboard”.

RTI documents reveal Director General Mike Kaiser also admitted the youth justice issues affecting Queenslanders “ain’t great”.

The message revealed what many Queenslanders already knew: the tired third-term Labor Government had run out of ideas to fix the Queensland Youth Crime Crisis.

In the year that’s passed, Labor’s chaos and crisis has seen the Youth Crime Crisis spiral further out of control with:

  • Hardcore repeat youth offenders surging from 10% to 20% of all youth criminals.
  • Youth crime soaring with stolen cars up 33%, assaults up 13% and robbery up 15% in one year.
  • Police numbers continuing to fall across the State, down 322 in 18 months.
  • Not a single youth offender sentenced to greater than 12 months detention for stealing a car, despite Labor’s promises they would be.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said Labor’s policy cupboard was bare a year ago and since then Queenslanders had only seen more broken promises, chaos and crisis.

“Queenslanders are crying out for their Government to take crime seriously, but after nearly a decade, Labor’s policy cupboard is utterly bare,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“One year on from Steven Miles’ text message, it’s clear he still has no clue how to fix the Youth Crime Crisis Labor created.

“Labor’s soft-on-crime approach, weak laws and fewer police created a generation of untouchables who are terrorising our communities every day.

“The ‘tough’ laws they promised have been exposed as a weak political stunt, designed to distract from their lack of ideas.

“Making our community safer is a key priority for Queenslanders, which his why it is our priority.

“The LNP has the right priorities for Queensland’s future and has put solutions on the table to start tackling Queensland’s Youth Crime Crisis, including creating consequences for actions, unshackling the judiciary by removing detention as a last resort and delivering gold standard early intervention.”

Shadow Minister for Youth Justice and Victim Support Laura Gerber said in the past year, the Queensland Youth Crime Crisis had continued to worsen under Labor.

“Steven Miles must start taking the Crime Crisis seriously, Queenslanders want him to adopt our crime solutions today,” Ms Gerber said.

“Every day Labor refuses to take the Youth Crime Crisis seriously, crime is soaring and more Queenslanders are paying with their lives and livelihoods.

“While stolen cars have skyrocketed 33%, not a single youth crim has been sentenced to longer than 12 months for the crime.

“The LNP has travelled the State and listened to Queenslanders, business owners, community groups and victims of crime and they are clear they want action from their government.

“The Youth Justice Act must be re-written to restore consequence for action and stop the pipeline of youth criminals.

“Anything short of reforming early intervention, delivering the 1450 additional police promised and removing detention as a last resort, shows nothing has changed under Steven Miles.”