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  • Sharon Timms

    TropicNow journalist

    Email Sharon Timms

    Police call for more parental responsibility after boys charged with brazen theft

    A woman unpacking her groceries at her Manoora home was shocked to discover a group of boys as young as 11 had broken in while she returned to her car to pick up more shopping bags.

    The brazen burglary and theft in Manoora yesterday afternoon by the group of five boys has once again highlighted the need for action in targeting juvenile crime in Cairns.

    The five Manoora and Whitfield boys – aged 11 to 14 – were charged with burglary and unlawful use of a motor vehicle. They broke into a Chester Court home around 4pm while the resident was unpacking groceries from her car. The youths managed to escape with money and car keys, and later returned to steal the vehicle.

    Local police located the alleged offenders, and the car was later found nearby with rear panel damage. The boys were then handed over to the Cairns Police Crime Squad.

    Senior Constable Russell Parker has said that the responsibility ultimately lies with the parents.

    “These children, the youngest being 11 years old, are out on a school night stealing cars," Snr Const. Parker said. "Where is the guidance? When we have children we assume responsibility, and we just see that responsibility failing here.

    “There are many groups and organisations in Cairns that are available to assist parents who are in need. It’s not up to the ratepayers to pay for juvenile programs. Sadly for almost all of these juvenile offenders, there is little or no parental guidance or control.”

    The Children’s Court of Queensland annual report for 2016-17 reveals that 42 youth offenders were dealt with on 346 charges in the Cairns region, which is slightly more than eight offences per child.