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  • Crispin Till

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    LNP announces sweeping plans to tackle crime in North Queensland


    Cairns will get a youth curfew to curb TNQ's high rates of juvenile crime if a planned trial in Townsville proves successful under an elected Liberal National Party Government.

    The LNP's $29.5 million North Queensland Crime Action Plan was announced by leader Tim Nicholls this morning, featuring a range of measures including: 

    • a permanent police and emergency services helicopter for North Queensland, based in Townsville
    • a freeze on child welfare payments to parents with kids behind bars
    • six-month youth curfew strategy in Townsville overseen by local police and Council
    • early intervention programs and tougher laws

    With some of the worst crime rates in the state for car thefts, break and enters and assaults, the LNP's candidate for Barron River Michael Trout said the curfew would be rolled out in the Cairns region if it proves successful in Townsville.

    "When you have a radical idea like this, it is important to do the trial first to make sure it is going to do what we think it is going to do," he said.

    "We are relying on world's best practice for this trial, it's not something we've just invented.

    "Youth curfews are in place in Iceland, some parts of the USA and a suburb in Perth and they are very successful."

    The trial curfew in Townsville will see children under 16 years who are on the streets after 10pm without a parent or guardian collected by police and looked after at a local emergency accommodation shelter until they can be safely returned to their parents.

    The shelter will be staffed with a counsellor and nurse.

    Mr Trout was keen to further spruik the LNP's tough stance on crime, also citing its commitment to an $8.6 million Rapid Action Patrol Squad in Cairns, if elected.

    Just days before the election was called, the ALP committed to providing an extra 47 police officers in Cairns to tackle the region's high crime rate.