Taxi drivers use police scanners to avoid stolen cars and call each other to avoid dangerous roads
- Queensland taxi drivers use police scanners to avoid stolen cars
- Townsville taxi drivers use radios to avoid certain roads
- They call other drivers to warn them to avoid areas or risk accidents
A senior police officer said it was not ideal for taxi drivers to use police scanners to avoid stolen cars in the upstate, more than a year after the crackdown began youth crime.
Evening taxi drivers in Townsville, North Queensland, use police scanners to monitor the whereabouts of stolen vehicles in the town, then notify other drivers via social media or text messages.
A taxi driver said he avoided an accident over the weekend by driving away from an intersection after hearing the route of a stolen car on the scanner.
“If I hadn’t done that, I could have been boned on the spot,” he said. “It’s not for fun, it’s for our safety, mate.”
Queensland taxi drivers use police scanners to locate stolen cars and avoid the area
Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Wheeler said he was unaware of any taxi drivers using police scanners in the city, but he encouraged people to report stolen vehicles.
“A taxi driver who has to do this is not ideal,” Mr Wheeler said on Thursday.
“But what I would say is when we get that information, we act very quickly.” We respond as quickly as possible.
In March, youth-dominated crime hit its highest level since the government crackdown began in April 2021.
During the same month, Townsville experienced an average of 10 homes and businesses burglarized each day and two cars stolen.
The amendment to the Youth Justice Act, introduced in April 2021, included a presumption against youth bail for certain offences.
Queensland magistrates have also won the right to issue electronic monitoring devices to repeat offenders aged 16 and 17 as a condition of bail in Townsville, North Brisbane, Moreton, Logan and the Gold Coast LGAs.
To be equipped, young people must be charged with a serious offense and have already been convicted of a serious offense.
Speaking anonymously to AAP, a taxi driver said he avoided an accident over the weekend by driving away from an intersection
Police Minister Mark Ryan said on Thursday that the government has continued to engage with key stakeholders since the laws were passed and that the government regularly monitors reforms.
On GPS tracking devices, Mr Ryan said the courts preferred to keep repeat offenders in custody, which led to disruptions in their offence.
In cases where the electronics have been released, he said there were “about half a dozen” in use, which has seen some success with respect to bail.
But Traeger MP Rob Katter said taxi drivers using police scanners for safety spoke volumes about the state’s youth crime problem.
“It’s not even a matter of frequency. It’s a matter of intensity – people are scared,” he said.
“People in the normal course of business are taking extraordinary steps to try to lessen the threat of violence and crime.”