Crime central: Soaring break and enters, assaults rattle Cairns

People who live in Cairns are four times more likely to have their car stolen or their house broken into, than if they live in Brisbane, new police statistics indicate.

Sep 07, 2022, updated Sep 07, 2022


The damning new figures released by the LNP State Opposition show there have been 289 break and enters, nearly 10 a day, in one month between July and August.

There have been 189 assaults, more than six a day, 91 vehicles stolen, more than three a day and 377 other thefts, more than 12 a day on average.

It means break and enters across Cairns, Smithfield and Edmonton police divisions have soared by 95 per cent, unlawful use of a motor vehicle is up 68 per cent and assaults have increased by 54 per cent.

The shocking statistics coincide with Minister for Children Leanne Linard’s visit to the region this week off the back of the State Government’s regional Cabinet meeting on Thursday Island.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli, who was also in Cairns this morning, said the State Government was losing the war on crime.

“These police figures show the State Government isn’t listening and is losing control of crime in the Far North,” he said.

“Youth crime doesn’t just affect victims. It hurts tourism operators, business owners and households who are paying more for their insurance premiums in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.”

The figures have prompted Crisafulli to repeat his calls for the reintroduction of breach of bail as an offence for youth offenders.

Linard said evidence showed breach of bail for young offenders was useless.

“That’s all the LNP has called for,” she said. “That is politics, it is not community action and the community doesn’t want politics.

“Breach of bail was in place for two years and there was not one night of custody that was served by a young person because of breach of bail – it does not work.”

Linard said she had heard the community’s concerns “loud and clear” but reaffirmed her commitment to early intervention strategies to break the cycle of crime.

She said youth crime was down overall across the state but smaller groups of offenders were committing crime with greater frequency, indicating that prevention strategies would be targeted and intensified around known trouble spots.

Today’s development follows Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter’s call for the Palaszczuk Government to offer $1500 security grants to Queenslanders affected by crime in communities that have a property offence crime rate more than double the state average.

The annual round of grants proposed by Katter would be open to property and business owners to provide a “dollar-for-dollar” contribution up to $1500 for those who invest in security measures such as CCTV cameras, alarms, bollards and bars and security screen installation.

Katter said the funding pool would be capped at $10 million a year, which would assist at least 6500 property or business owners who wished to take up the incentive.

“This crime wave doesn’t discriminate, people have packed up their bags and left towns, as well as businesses who are under siege already have, or are prepared to, shut up shop as a result of crime, and this is a crying shame in every instance,” Katter said.

According to police data, there are 18 regions of Queensland with property offences double the state average, including: Mackay, Ipswich, Fortitude Valley, Cairns, Townsville, Surfers Paradise, Logan Central, Mundingburra, Cunnamulla, Palm Island, Woorabinda, Mount Isa, Normanton, Kowanyama, Mornington Island, Cherbourg, Doomadgee.







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