Monday, June 24, 2024

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HomeIssue 3Youth crime: Queensland much tougher, says Lambley

Youth crime: Queensland much tougher, says Lambley


Sir – The horrific and tragic killing of two innocent pedestrians in Queensland yesterday allegedly by a juvenile in a stolen car should be a major wakeup call for the NT Government and our seriously escalating problem of youth crime across the Northern Territory.

The Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, told her people yesterday: “It is an absolute tragedy. It’s absolutely horrific … this young man is now on murder charges … if there’s anything more we can do to strengthen our laws, we absolutely will … families need to step up.”

On October 22 last year Shane Powell in Alice Springs was killed in similar circumstances and our Chief Minister provided no such outrage or leadership on how the NT juvenile justice system might be reformed to prevent more of these type of incidents.

The Alice Springs community was left stunned and abandoned. The bereft and devastated family of Shane Powell were left with no consolation from our Chief Minister.

Alice Springs has been in crisis for many months and the situation is deteriorating. Earlier this week 25 break-ins were reported to police in one 24 hour period in Alice Springs.

The latest NT Police Crime Statistics for Alice Springs are horrendous: Domestic Violence assaults in Alice Springs up by 30%; house break-ins up by 23%; alcohol related assaults up by 14% ; and Property Damage up by 11%.

Crime has never been this bad in Alice Springs and it is getting worse. People are leaving or planning to leave Alice Springs in droves. Our safety and happiness as a community is being compromised to the point whereby people cannot see a future in Alice Springs.

Once again I call on the NT Gunner Labor Government to follow the words of Annastacia Palaszczuk and address this serious problem. There must be legislative changes and a more proactive approach.

Robyn Lambley (pictured)
Independent Member for Araluen.

PHOTO: The killed couple, Katherine Jane Leadbetter and her partner Matthew Philip Field, were expecting a child. (Facebook.)


  1. Research from all over the world shows that punitive measures will only go so far.
    I absolutely agree that the crime, DV and violence in this town is not okay and needs to change; but we cannot have this conversation with the only lens being the juvenile justice system.
    We must also remember that many of these young offenders are experiencing trauma, poverty, social injustice, health disparity and disease etc.
    Let alone FASD!
    How can Alice Springs community and the government deal with these issues with compassion, intelligence and wisdom … that is the real challenge.
    Locking kids up is easy, yes, but does not effect long term solutions, it just continues to criminalise and disadvantage them in the long run. We need proud, healthy happy young people … putting them in jail won’t get them there.

  2. Putting them in jail might stop them from doing it again. Or in the first place. If jail saves one life, that is enough.

  3. I am hopeful of winning lotto, but alas I will keep working.
    Perhaps it’s time to look at how other countries successfully deal with crime. Perhaps we should decriminalise self defence and allow people to protect their hard earned possessions.
    Only one thing is for sure, if we keep doing what we are doing, we’ll get nowhere.

  4. Hopeful: “We must also remember that many of these young offenders are experiencing trauma, poverty, social injustice, health disparity and disease etc.Let alone FASD.”
    Are you talking of a 3rd world country, or least developed countries, to be be politically correct? Australia is not on the list as in fact it is the 6th of the most developed countries in the world. Hence our problems could and should be fixed with leaders who have balls.

  5. It is a worry that across Australia there is ‘outrage’ when a video of a NT police officer is shown ‘swearing’ at black youth in custody (after one youth threatened him) but absolutely no outrage when Aboriginal juveniles in Alice Springs steal cars and yes the result of one such crime was the death of an Alice Springs local just driving his car.
    Not a word then ??

  6. Quote: “Crime has never been this bad in Alice Springs and it is getting worse. People are leaving or planning to leave Alice Springs in droves.”
    Claims made by NT MLA Robyn Lambley in her letter to you Erwin. No substantiation for the above claims is provided by The Member.
    Conservative rhetoric such as this, a hallmark of Mrs Lambley, offers very little in the way of approaching, in a positive structural manner, the well known long term social problems that have beset this region for many years now.
    A basic search of archival material in local papers would soon make her aware of just how long this unfortunate situation of social disharmony has existed. Unfortunately her input sadly is always of a divisive nature.
    Has she ever bothered to take the small effort to engage with Aboriginal people? Has she bothered to learn some basic Arrernte words so as to assist her in being able to engage at least at a basic level; hey, it’s a start!
    Her populist rhetoric I have no doubt has many supporters in Alice but that type of rhetoric has prevailed in this town for ever; but to what effect?
    Fifty basic Arrernte words on magnetic backing can be purchased for placing on the fridge door. Once again, it’s a start towards a positive outcome.


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