The outrage and concerns for community safety expressed by many Queenslanders following recent tragic events involving young people committing unlawful acts were to be expected. Our hearts go out to all family members and loved ones who have suffered and to all who live in communities who now report being fearful of becoming victims of crime. It is completely legitimate for discussion and debate to occur about the best approaches that should be taken to youth crime – how best to prevent it from occurring and how best to stop it from re-occurring. You will soon be hearing much more from PeakCare and others about this contentious issue in the very near future.
In the wake of recent tragic events, some community reactions that were not expected – or at least not expected to the extent that they have occurred – are the vitriolic attacks on children and young people in care who have been swept up in the more extreme views about youth crime being expressed by pockets of the community. These attacks are not being directed specifically towards children and young people who have had encounters with the law. They are being directed towards children and young people who happen to be in care, most of whom have had no involvement whatsoever with the youth justice system.
PeakCare is aware of a non-government organisation that has been the recipient of targeted social media messages urging local neighbourhood members to break into their service and to hang the children and young people living there. This is just one especially putrid example of vile messages that this organisation and others have been receiving.
Today, we are now facing a diabolical situation where many children and young people in care are fearful of how their local communities and neighbourhoods regard them. Some are now fearful of walking out their front door. Their carers and the staff members who support these children and young people are also fearful for them and sometimes frightened about how they themselves are being regarded.
In PeakCare’s opinion, there are some choices to be made by politicians from all parties about how they respond to this emerging and extremely alarming dynamic. Click here to read more about these choices and feel free to add your thoughts and comments, anonymously if you prefer.