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  • Shameful car theft record set to be broken again in Cairns

    Cairns is almost certain to break its own record for the highest number of car thefts in a month with a staggering 64 vehicles already stolen in April - and we're only halfway through the month.

    That's already surpassed the average number of thefts per month during 2017, which set a new record of 767 cars stolen through the year.

    The rampant rate of car thefts is showing no signs of slowing down despite continued arrests of youth offenders by Cairns Police.

    Over the weekend, officers from the Cairns Property Crime Squad arrested and charged 12 people aged from 11 to 19 years with a total of 28 offences.

    The charges relate to burglary, unlawful use of motor vehicles, wilful damage, assaults, entering premises with intent, unlicensed driving and other offences.

    Police continue to urge local residents to avoid falling victim to thieves by ensuring their vehicles and dwellings are locked and vehicle keys secured. 


    Cairns MP Michael Healy has stuck by his view that a midnight basketball program would help curb youth crime, saying it was successful in numerous towns and cities across the country.

    Readers were skeptical about the initiative in a fiery debate on TropicNow's Facebook page last week. 

    Q&A with Cairns MP Michael Healy

    How will the basketball project help reduce youth crime?

    The evidence to date is that Basketball is an activity which is heavily engaged and has been successful in the past for youth in the late evenings around west-Cairns.

    How much funding does the project require?

    We are in the process of sorting that figure out.

    Teens who steal cars do it for a range of reasons, including the "thrill" and risks involved. Do you think basketball can replace these motivators?

    Yes I do, as do many others in the social services and law and order areas.

    Are there are current examples where a "midnight basketball" concept has proven to work in other cities to reduce youth crime?

    Ballarat, Bankstown, Broome, Darwin, Geraldton, Grafton, Griffith, Liverpool, Mt Druitt, Toowoomba, Albury, Alice Springs, Bathurst, Bendigo, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Forster, Geelong, Gunnedah, Katoomba, Knox (Boronia), Marion, Orange, Queanbeyan, Redfern, Salisbury, Shepparton, Tamworth, Taree, Wodonga, Wollongong and when it was run in Cairns previously.

    Does Mr Healy support the concept of a "youth boot camp" in whatever form it may take?

    All evidence to date has proven these "youth boot camps" do not produce the appropriate outcomes. Kids need jobs.