In Legal Affairs

Queensland Shadow Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie

Youth Sex Crimes Soar 49 %

Victor P Taffa

The Number of Violent Sex Crimes committed by young offenders has soared 49 % according to the latest Children’s Court Annual Report, the State Opposition said today.

Shadow Justice Minister Jarrod Bleijie said the Children’s Court Annual Report 2009/10 revealed more and more juvenile offenders were committing more Serious Crimes.

“Across the board, crimes committed by young offenders are up, despite record numbers of children also being cautioned.” Mr. Bleijie said.

“Most concerning is the jump in sex crimes by young offenders with 372 charges in 2009/10 up 49 % on the 248 charges in 2008/09 and the fact that more than 131 sex crimes were diverted through youth justice conferencing …in simple terms that means that rape charges are being handled with a soft option and that should be ringing loud alarm bells in the community.”

“Other states have moved to exclude sex crimes from the child diversion process and the LNP moved to stop this practice last year proposing amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act 1992, but the Bligh Labor Government rejected the changes.” Mr. Bleijie said.

Mr. Bleijie said the annual report also revealed that increasing numbers of children were committing violent crimes such as robbery, with serious property crime on the rise.

“It’s clear the softly-softly approach being taken by this long-term Labor Government is not working.” Mr. Bleijie said.


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