Aussie Town is besieged by juvenile crime gangs who roam the streets breaking into homes and terrorizing the locals
- Townsville in the throes of juvenile delinquency
- Vigilance is feared
Locals fear it’s only a matter of time before vigilantes take the law into their own hands as a terrifying crime wave grips their city.
Roaming youth gangs have become increasingly brutal in Townsville, with a rise in violent crimes, thefts, burglaries and acts of vandalism.
Restaurant owner Allan Pike revealed that his business had been targeted several times, including a large rock thrown through a window.
He said his scared local community has been pushed to its limits and is now on the verge of breaking.
“People are not going to sit back and swallow it any longer,” he told The Project on Sunday.
“They’re going to dole out their own justice.”
Roaming youth gangs have become increasingly brutal in Townsville, with a rise in violent crimes, thefts, burglaries and acts of vandalism. In the photo: a young person tries to break into a car
Last year, Townsville saw its highest crime rate in two decades, with more than 43,000 offenses recorded.
During a year-long police operation, 1,322 offenders were charged, nearly 1,000 of whom were minors.
Sonia, who works at a convenience store in Townsville, said she was held at knifepoint by a young man who entered the store.
“Someone approached me with a big boning knife,” she said
“I thought, I can’t believe I’m dying in the back of this store.
“I ran for my life, I left my car keys, purse and phone and just left the store.”
Sonia, who is still out of work recovering from the attack, said young people are not held accountable for their actions.
“They know they’re untouchable, so they just keep doing what they’re doing,” she said.
Restaurant owner Allan Pike (pictured) said his business was targeted by criminals on multiple occasions
Youth gangs have angered and frightened Townsville residents
Local residents have shared their concerns on the Townsville Crime Alerts and Discussions Facebook page, which has amassed more than 37,000 members.
Frustrated members have posted images of young people accused of committing crimes, sometimes with their faces unblurred, and calling for identification.
Acting Superintendent Chris Lawson said police were taking action against the scourge of crime gripping Queensland city.
“The police can do things and we do a lot of background work,” he said
When asked about images of children being posted and shared, Acting Superintendent Lawson said that people sharing images or information needed to also provide them to police to help with investigations.
A youth is accused of stealing shoes from a Townsville residence
Frustrated local residents share images of young people accused of committing crimes on Facebook
Some youths who engaged in illegal behavior also shared their activities online.
Acting Superintendent Lawson said this “encouraged” those involved in committing offences.
Kamara Thompson, of The Lighthouse Youth After Hours Diversionary Service, said people may not be aware of the living conditions of young people who commit crime.
“There are a lot of underlying issues,” she said.