A teenager is on remand after being caught driving a stolen car. Picture: Alix Sweeney
A teenager is on remand after being caught driving a stolen car. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Teen previously ‘relocated’ back to a life of crime

A  RECIDIVIST offender whose family was involved in a failed relocation attempt to give the city a reprieve from crime has been accused of a stolen car spree.

The teenager, who can't be named for legal reasons, was arrested this week in connection to several allegedly stolen vehicles, one of which was seen to be baiting police into a pursuit.

He is accused of being behind the wheel of a stolen car when it crashed into another vehicle.

The Townsville Bulletin can reveal the teenager was one of the offenders relocated to southeast Queensland with his family by Townsville Stronger Community Action Group in 2016.

The relocation proposal was recently refloated by Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper who said it had been done before and with success, however sources have labelled it a failure.

The then-juvenile returned to Townsville months after the move and continued to reoffend.

The teenager recently appeared in Townsville Magistrates Court where he was remanded until the new year. Mr Harper raised the relocation proposal on the eve of a crime rally last month calling for government agencies to move a small cohort of problematic families as the community had had an "absolute gutful".

When questioned about the failed family relocation he said it was just "one example" but would not provide any success stories.

"They are being given support. You're picking one family. You are reaching," he said recently.

Mr Harper could not be reached yesterday.

LNP police spokesman Trevor Watts slammed the relocation proposal.

"Just like Labor's ridiculous bail houses, this hairbrained idea will be another abject failure," he said.

"Labor's relocation thought bubble will just pile more misery on the Townsville community."

The State Government and Townsville Stronger Community Action Group have remained quiet on the relocation of families and on the issue.

Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer recently dodged questions on its success and the costs that are associated with relocating families.