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Opinion

12 February, 2021

Fluff, Fluff and even more Fluff

Editorial - Cairns Local News #22 Feb 12, 2021

By Peter McCullagh

Benjamin Disraeli is quoted to have said, “There are three kinds of lies, lies, damn lies and statistics.” A good sign of a weak argument is the overuse of statistics to bolster a flimsy premise.

The latest fluff piece from the spin doctors of George Street is testament to that. We should all rejoice, the government’s measures to combat youth crime are making our lives, streets and homes so much safer.

The Youth Justice Minister this week released a joint statement with the Premier advising us the reforms announced in March 2020 had led to a 23 per cent decrease in the numbers of youth offenders.

We also need to celebrate the success of the government’s Transition 2 Success Program with a massive 67 per cent success rate.

Total attendance to the program 187 individuals and 67 per cent have not offended. Let’s all rejoice.

By their own admission, Ten per cent of all youth offenders account for 48 per cent of all youth crime.

Forget the statistics and the massaging of figures. Can we rejoice in the wonderful inroads of this government into tackling the youth crime?

No. Sadly they are failing, or more to the point they are continuing to fail.

The Police Minister believes young offenders need to learn the consequences of their actions. The Queensland public have been saying this for years, yet it is only this week that we have the relevant government minister come to that realisation.

Key measures announced this week include a Parliamentary inquiry into the implementation of remote engine immobilisers. An inquiry costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, plus numerous media opportunities for the government combined with a delay in any real effective action.

Remote GPS tracking bracelets for 16 and 17 year old repeat offenders were also announced as a measure the courts could impose.

Why only settle on 16-17 year olds? It was a 14 year old driver who crashed a stolen car last year in Townsville killing 4 others.

Perhaps the government could consider some other statistics from the Children’s Court of Queensland Annual Report 2019-2020.

In the Children’s Court there was a notable increase (80%) in the number of 13 year old defendants but a 10.2% decrease in 17 year old defendants. Yet the government restricts the GPS tracking devices to 16 and 17 year olds.

Enough is enough. The current puff piece from the spin doctors attempts to reassure us that programs are working and this government is tough on crime.

I guess the court of public opinion will be the final judge of that.

 

 

Peter McCullagh

Editor


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