Teenage 'rampage' as young offenders run riot
A spike in crimes committed by children as young as 13 has been described as a teenage rampage, and some victims and police claim the courts aren't doing enough to stop it.
The alleged crimes include car-jacking, robbery, joy-rides in stolen cars and even allegedly assaulting police.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers told A Current Affair the alleged young offenders posted their “rampages” on social media "thinking it's a sport".
"We deal with the victims day-in, day-out and we feel their pain," he said.
Townsville mum Libby Henderson was asleep when three teenagers broke into her home.
"Once they were inside they took all of our keys, our bags, our wallets and then took all of our cars that were parked out the front," she said.
"We had three cars - a work car, my son's ute and my car, and they took all three."
Ms Thompson's own car was involved in a hit-and-run, with the alleged thieves abandoning it soon after.
There was also a spike in car-jackings over Christmas, with some perpetrators as young as 15.
Drivers were bashed, stabbed and threatened at gunpoint, everywhere from service stations to outside their own homes.
Police have charged some teenagers they believe to be responsible, but Mr Leavers is not confident it will make a difference.
"We are doing our job, it's about time the courts and other departments do theirs," he said.
Ms Thompson said one of the teens charged over the theft of her vehicles had been in court that same day for a similar offence and had "bragged" he was going to rob somebody later.
In Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, car theft has surged to an 18-year-high with children as young as 13 among the worst offenders.
And on the Gold Coast, shocking footage has emerged of a police officer being allegedly assaulted by a 17-year-old boy.
But Sydney Law School Associate Professor of criminology Garner Clancey said statistics showed in most places, juvenile crime had dropped.
"The state that's leading the way is New South Wales," he said.
"We have seen quite dramatic declines in youth crime in the last eight years."
He said various studies into youth crime in Victoria had also shown declines in the past few years.
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