Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill

In addressing the Queensland Legislative Assembly, deep concern was voiced regarding the escalating crime rate in our state especially Toowoomba and the growing number of victims seeking crime assistance.

This address comes after listening intently to the plights and voices of the victims of crime, advocating for their need to receive prompt and effective assistance. It’s become increasingly clear, through numerous conversations and feedback from constituents, that the sharp rise in crime under the current government is impacting more Queenslanders than ever before.

The speech put a spotlight on the essential need for a commission of inquiry into the DNA issue, a concern brought to light by the harrowing experiences of rape victims. These stories reflect a broader systemic failure and underscore the need for immediate reform.

After engaging with various community members, it’s evident that there is a critical concern regarding the delay and inadequacy of support for victims, particularly in mental health services. It’s a shared opinion that victims and their families waiting months for necessary help is untenable.

Additionally, the struggles faced by small and family business owners, victims of crimes against their businesses, were brought to the forefront. Their financial and emotional challenges, often unaddressed, have been heard and demand attention.

Reflecting on the latest statistics from the 2021-22 crime report by the Queensland Government Statisticians Office, which show a 49.2% increase in total recorded victims of offences against the person, it’s clear that action is needed.

In response to these challenges and after listening to Queenslanders, these priorities to address the youth crime crisis were created:

  1. Enhancing Police Presence: Focusing on retaining and attracting police officers for robust law enforcement.
  2. Accountability in Youth Justice: Amending the Youth Justice Act to hold young offenders accountable.
  3. Judicial Empowerment: Empowering judges to impose sentences that align with community expectations.
  4. Early Intervention Reforms: Redirecting young lives from crime with effective early intervention.
  5. Systematic Reforms: Addressing Child Safety and Residential Care System Vulnerabilities.
  6. Victim-Centric Approach: Prioritizing support for victims, especially in cases of domestic and family violence and sexual violence against women.