Cops can't act on knife threat
A COAST mother has called for changes to the laws regarding young people after a teenager who threatened her daughter with a knife could only by cautioned by police.
The woman, who does not want her family identified, said the 12-year-old was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident at Buddina last week.
The mother claimed her daughter and a friend were approached by a group of youths after getting off the school bus on Nanyima Street.
After a short exchange, one of the youths, believed to be a 14-year-old, pulled out a pocket knife.
He then dropped the weapon, allowing the 12-year-old and her friend to escape.
The mother said the incident put the girl into shock and she must now see a psychologist.
The Daily understands the youth who pulled the knife was caught by police, who could do nothing but issue him with a caution.
The girl's mother has called on Sunshine Coast residents to get behind a letter-writing campaign to Queensland Attorney-General Paul Lucas to have the Youth Justice Act 1992 amended.
She wants to see tougher laws imposed.
“The police may as well walk around with their own handcuffs on because under justice youth legislation they can't do anything,” the mother said.
“These kids can only get a caution.
“The only way the legislation can change is if we all write to Paul Lucas and the public get behind it.''
The mother and daughter met with the Child Protection Investigation Unit in Maroochydore on Sunday.
“They told us that everyone has to get behind this,” the woman said.
“If Queenslanders can band together during the floods then we can band together to have the legislation system changed for youth justice.”
The Youth Justice Act 1992 provides laws for young people aged 10 to 16 years old who commit, or who are alleged to have committed, offences.
According to the Weapons Act 1990, possession of a knife in a public place or school is illegal.
The maximum penalty is six months in prison.
Member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie said last night said he supported the mother's call for tougher penalties.
He said teenagers were brushing off police warnings and bragging about them to friends.
“Some thrive off it and they share it with their mates,” Mr Bleijie said.
“A caution serves no good purpose because they haven't leant from it. It's not a deterrent for them.”
Mr Bleijie said other options were available.
“Not every young serious offender needs detention, but children who commit very violent crimes need strong counselling and long-term interventions to stop them reoffending,” Mr Bleijie said.
“The LNP is committed to a major overhaul of youth justice that will address the underlying causes of youth offending, while holding young criminals accountable for their crimes.”
Mr Bleijie was due to speak with the girl's mother last night.