CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
In case you haven’t been watching 7 News or reading the NewsCorp papers, Australia is currently in the midst of a youth crime epidemic.
In small towns and outer-metro suburbs, cars are being stolen every night, for the purpose of being used in other robberies or just thrashed until they explode. The rates of young offenders maiming innocent Australians inside their own homes during bungled robberies is also skyrocketing, with statistics now almost on par with the late 1990s heroin boom.
It’s so bad that every state and territory government in the country is being forced to strengthened laws around juvenile offenders. With most opting for a ‘jail not bail’ approach, rather than taking a real look at the issue.
With Queensland even going as far as warehousing children in adult prisons, the question remains, does exposing scared young people to seasoned grown-up criminals achieve anything but make angry voters feel like they are winning a class war against the kids who lost the lottery at birth. Other than of course providing these juveniles with a traumatically accelerated education on how to be a proper crim?
But that’s just one of many questions that arise in the midst of this youth crime epidemic.
The main question is why is this suddenly happening?
Well, according to the newspapers and vigilante Facebook groups, there’s no real need to look at the surrounding circumstances and socio-economic factors – because it’s pretty obvious that there’s just more ‘bad apples’ out there nowadays for no reason in particular.
Any empathy for these offenders has gone out the window with the populist politicians who are appealing to frustrated victims of crime by promising to simply punish these natural born criminals for the rest of their lives.
The Betoota Advocate put these questions to one prominent local youth criminal down at the skate park earlier today.
Timmy (15) says he doesn’t know why he steals cars from innocent tax-payer’s driveways and flogs them until they either cause a fatal car accident or burst into flames on the roadside.
“Coz it’s fun I guess. Better than being at home”
When asked if he feels sorry for his victims, Timmy appears to show absolutely no empathy for a society that just left him locked down for three years with a drunk dad who belted his kids harder than the pokie machines he was forced to quit cold turkey when the Government decided that everyone in the country was in a comfortable enough position to stay indoors with for an indefinite period of time with no regard for the safety of young people caught in the cycle of domestic abuse and violence.
“Who gives a shit” says Timmy
“I haven’t even been at school since the pandemic. They wanted me to do my school classes by zoom but we don’t even have a computer. We didn’t even have a TV for most of the lockdown”
With his formative years of adolescence spent avoiding the gaze of his violent father, Timmy doesn’t know where life will lead him now that he’s out in the real world.
But at this point, a juvenile corrections centre has gotta be better than what he went through between 2020-2022.
Shame there’s no room.