CRIME: Shadow police minister Trevor Watts, South Burnett Councillor Kathy Duff, Murgon Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Brett Sander and Nanango member Deb Frecklington.
CRIME: Shadow police minister Trevor Watts, South Burnett Councillor Kathy Duff, Murgon Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Brett Sander and Nanango member Deb Frecklington. Jessica McGrath

Frecklington accused of 'dishonesty' about youth crime

DEB Frecklington has been accused of dishonesty following a community meeting about youth crime in Murgon.

Police minister Mark Ryan said Ms Frecklington needed to be honest with her community about the reality of youth crime.

"She shouldn't be trying to score cheap political points on a serious issue," he said.

The Nanango member, along with shadow police minister Trevor Watts, called for tougher legislation and more police resources after the Murgon Neighbourhood Watch meeting on Monday, December 17.

Mr Watts said according to the crime indicator's report the average number of crimes per juvenile was on the rise.

The Murgon community called for tougher legislation and more resources to improve the reality of youth crime in their community.

"The youth crime is a very complex issue," Mr Watts said.

"Violent crime cannot be tolerated in a community, it requires a tough legislative response to make sure people who act out in violence are incarcerated."

However, Mr Ryan said the Youth Justice Strategy report showed the number of youths within the justice system had decreased from 12,000 to 9000 over the last decade.

"Resources have been increased in Murgon and Cherbourg," he said.

The LNP has proposed bringing back breach of bail as an offence, to try and curb the juvenile offending.

Mr Watts said there was currently a lack of financial and legislative resources.

The LNP have announced they would bring back breach of bail as an offence, to try and curb juvenile offending.

Mr Watts said if breach of bail was not a separate offence, they could be released on bail and go and commit another crime.

No juvenile offender can commit more than two offences while on bail before being incarcerated with the proposed legislation.

"The evidence is when we were in office and had that legislation we did reduce youth crime," Mr Watts said.

Mr Ryan said there was already consequences for breach of bail.

"It's a myth to suggest there are no consequences for breach of bail as the consequences can be serious, including a return to prison," he said.

Ms Frecklington said the meeting was all about listening to the concerns of the residents.

"They want to see tougher sentencing through the magistrates court, that is always an issue here in the South Burnett," she said.

Ms Frecklington said there was still a crime problem in the South Burnett, which needed to continue to be addressed.

"There is a start here, but there's a long way to go before solving this issue," she said.

The Nanango member called on the Palaszczuk Government to provide sufficient police resources.

"There are less police in Queensland now than ever before, and that's certainly not good enough," she said.

Mr Ryan said police were better equipped than ever before.

"There are more police in Queensland than ever before," he said.

Ms Frecklington said police needed to be vigilant these school holidays, despite only a minority of juvenile offenders being responsible.

"Now that school is out, we also need to make sure the local police are on the ground, when they are bored is unfortunately when some of these kids act out," she said.