With Christmas around the corner it feels like year's end is closing in at a hectic pace. As a vibrant, successful, and welcoming outback community we have much to be grateful for, however our attention is drawn to less positive issues.
Frustrations around crime are being felt by many and rightly so. While the current spate of Unlawful Entry of Motor Vehicles - the smashing of car windows, is experiencing an increase on previous years, the other crime classes (Burglary of dwellings, Assault, etc) are consistent with previous years.
Mount Isa District Police solves crimes, across all the major classes, at rates consistently higher than state averages, but it is the absence of crime that is a true measure of success for a community.
The discussion around youth curfews has re-emerged. Courts can set curfews with bail conditions, or as part of a youth justice order. There is no legislative authority that allows for a 'blanket' curfew to be imposed on a location or demographic.
Where the Court has imposed a curfew condition on an individual, police check this repeatedly for the duration of that bail to ensure compliance. Where non-compliance is identified, legislation allows for them to be bought back to Court, where Police can seek revocation of bail. These offenders are being arrested and placed back before the Court for the successful revocation of their bail, which has them remanded in custody and transferred to a youth detention facility.
We will continue to investigate crime and place offenders before the Court. We also work heavily with agencies to address underlying social dysfunction, of which crime is the most visible symptom. While strong opinion exists, we warn against residents taking matters into their own hands, risking their safety and possible criminal charges, over frustrations with existing systems.
The Peaceful Assembly Act 1992 (Qld) gives people the ability to protest or hold a demonstration to convey community frustrations. However, this is not something thrown together over social media and held at any time or place. To lawfully hold a public assembly or procession, the organiser must give a written notice of intention to a police station in the division where the public assembly is sought to be held. Any assembly conducted without permit would be considered unlawful and would only serve to further increase frustrations.
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