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Annual Data on Property Crime Offenders Recorded for 2019-20 Shows the More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same in Queensland
Dr Marcus Smith

Annual Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released today for 2019-20 shows a tragic indication of the current property crime and public safety crisis engulfing Queensland, which is highlighted by the harrowing events that have recently occurred in Alexandra Hills and Townsville. Principal offender statistics by state for the 2019-20 financial year to June show that Queensland had the highest offender rates of theft in the nation at 276.4 persons per 100,000 aged 10 and over - well above the national rate of 174.7 (including Queensland).

Looking at the subdivision categories of theft, unsurprisingly with motor vehicle theft being currently an incendiary issue across the state, Queensland retained the highest rate of theft in the nation at 52.3 persons per 100,000 aged 10 and over, which was over double the national rate of 24.3 persons and up from 49.4 persons during 2018-19.

The rate of theft other than motor vehicles was also the highest in the nation at 193.9 persons per 100,000 aged 10 and over, which is well above the national rate of 129.2 persons despite being down from 205.2 persons during 2018-19.

Rates of principal offenders receiving or handling proceeds of crime was 26.0 persons per 100,000 aged 10 and over, which is again above the national rate of 19.6 persons and up down from 25.0 persons during 2018-19.

Youth crime statistics for theft nationally show that at 375.0 persons per 100,000 between the age of 10 and 17 years show that Queensland narrowly retained the second highest rate of offenders behind Western Australia, a rate well above the national rate of 271.4 persons.

With the Queensland Government’s pledge to take tough action on youth crime across the state, seasonal observers may remain justifiably cynical of whether the government can meaningfully turn this crisis around, having heard this kind of rhetoric before.

As Scott Emerson pointed out in his commentary during his 4BC Drive radio segment yesterday, 10th February a press release dated from March last year “mirrors” a release dated just days ago by the state government on Tuesday 9th February. 

The fact is the relatively high rates of property crime in Queensland remain glaringly obvious to anyone bothering to glean over them as I discussed in a previous Brisbane West Chamber article dated 30th September last year where I examined victimisation rates per total population, which are due next week.

It is high time that the Queensland Labor Government stop governing by facile press conferences and start making some tough and decisive decisions to address the property crime and public safety crisis currently engulfing the state. 

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