$2.4 million crane vandalized in state youth crime blitz

North Queensland businesses are in turmoil after smashing a $2.4 million (US$1.68 million) crane while bragging on social media.

A business manager said an excavator worth $500,000 was also damaged in the weekend attacks.

so snapchat videotwo young men can be seen repeatedly hitting the windshield of a multi-million dollar crane in the tropical city of Cairns with a large piece of wood.

Both young men can be heard cursing, with the subtitle “[Because] we can” appears along the bottom half of the video.

The vehicle was later found covered in graffiti and with a fire extinguisher stuck in the windshield, according to Century Crane images.

“We don’t know if the equipment should be written off because it’s still being evaluated,” general manager Bianca Wilson told Newscorp.

“The problem is, if so, these machines aren’t easy to buy. With a two-year wait, it’s going to be a problem.”

She said young people were becoming increasingly “brazen” in their criminal behavior and hoped the community wouldn’t have to resort to vigilante action.

North Queensland, like many parts of the state, has had to deal with a surge in juvenile recidivism.

In October 2022, the City of Cairns recorded over 1,000 vehicle thefts for the year. cairns post.

Every inhabitant has a story to tell

Further south, in the capital city of Brisbane, it’s common for residents to tell their own stories and encounter youth crime.

In the southern suburbs of Underwood, witnesses told The Epoch Times they saw a young man of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander appearance steal a utility vehicle and crash it into a tree.

Epoch Times photo
A vehicle allegedly stolen and driven into a tree along Centennial Street in Underwood, Brisbane, Australia, taken December 15, 2022. (Courtesy of Underwood Resident)

Meanwhile, another Salisbury resident saw two young men staring at a parked car from the street through CCTV at their home. When he went out and spoke to them, they ran off.

In the Southwest, bus drivers simply refuse to drive to the suburbs of Inara and Forest Lake, citing a spate of violence on public transport.

“Since Christmas, the situation has worsened. There have been about 24 incidents: assaults, spitting, abuse, threats, drivers and passengers attacking with bottles and stones from outside the bus,” said Tom. Assistant Secretary of State Brown said. Australian person newspaper.

But the worst and most notable incidents were the murders and manslaughter in the north of the city.

In Willston, a 43-year-old man’s body was found on Newmarket Road after he was stabbed to death. Police allege that a 17-year-old boy attacked the man using a knife he said was 45 centimeters long (what authorities called a “little machete”).

Meanwhile, Emma Lovell, 41, of Brisbane’s North Lakes, was also stabbed to death after she and her husband confronted two 17-year-olds who trespassed on their property on Boxing Day.

Weak laws blamed for chaos

Weak penalties and sentencing are blamed for the ongoing wave of crime.

Former Prime Minister Campbell Newman said the criminal justice system was in “terminal decline”.

“For almost the entire period from 1989 to 2023, with the exception of a five-year conservative government, Labor created a system through the appointment of judges and magistrates to interpret the law,” he previously told The Epoch Times. .

“We have seen things in the last month and a half that should never have happened. did,” he said.

Queensland Commonwealth Senator Matt Canavan said there had been an increase in cases of breaking the law since 2019 after the current government changed the Youth Justice Act to ease imprisonment.

“These changes had the purpose of ‘removing legislative barriers to allowing young people to be granted bail,'” he wrote. there is editorial In News Corp’s The Courier Mail.

“This change informs judges that the principle should be ‘detention as a last resort’ and that the ‘bail decision framework’ incorporates an ‘explicit presumption in favor of release’. I did.”

Prime Minister Anastasia Paraszczuk tried to toughen the law in response to the incident, including higher penalties for night crimes, higher penalties for car theft and higher penalties for bragging about crimes online.

“We need a program to see if we can actually get a job when we get out of prison,” Parašchuk told reporters.

“Some of these young people come from complex backgrounds. We need to help break the cycle of crime.”

Productivity Commission data released on 24 January showed Queensland topping the country with the highest recidivism rate within 12 months.