Taxi drivers use police scanners to avoid stolen cars and call each other to avoid dangerous roads
- Taxi drivers in Queensland use police scanners to dodge stolen cars
- Taxi drivers in Townsville use radios to avoid certain roads
- They call other drivers to warn them to avoid areas or risk accidents
A senior police officer says it’s not ideal for taxi drivers to use police scanners to avoid stolen cars in the north of the state, more than a year into a crackdown on juvenile crime.
Evening taxi drivers in Townsville, North Queensland, use police scanners to check where stolen vehicles are in the city, then inform fellow drivers via social media or text.
A taxi driver said he avoided an accident over the weekend by pulling away from an intersection after hearing the route of a stolen car over the scanner.
“If I hadn’t done that, I could have been hit once in a while,” he said. “It’s not for fun, it’s for our safety, mate.”
Taxi drivers in Queensland have used police scanners to determine where stolen cars are and avoid the area
Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Wheeler said he was not aware of taxi drivers using police scanners in the city, but he was encouraging people to report stolen vehicles.
“Having a cab driver to do that isn’t ideal,” Wheeler said on Thursday.
“But what I’d say is if we get that information, we’re going to react to it very quickly.” We’ll respond as quickly as we can.’
In March, youth-dominated crime rose to its highest level since the government’s crackdown in April 2021.
In the same month, an average of 10 homes and businesses were broken into and two cars stolen every day in Townsville.
The amendment to the Youth Act, introduced in April 2021, included a presumption against youth bail for certain offences.
Queensland magistrates were also given the right to issue electronic surveillance equipment to repeat offenders aged 16 and 17 as a condition of bail in the LGAs of Townsville, North Brisbane, Moreton, Logan and the Gold Coast.
To be tried, teens must be charged with a serious crime and previously convicted of a serious crime.
A taxi driver anonymously told AAP that he avoided an accident this weekend by driving away from an intersection
Police Secretary Mark Ryan said on Thursday the government has continued to work with key stakeholders since the laws were passed, and the government regularly monitors reforms.
On GPS tracking devices, Ryan said the courts have preferred to keep repeat offenders in custody, which has led to disruptions to their offences.
In cases where the electronic devices have been issued, he said there were “about six dozen” in use, which has seen some success around bail enforcement.
But Traeger member Rob Katter said taxi drivers who use police scanners for safety spoke volumes about the state’s juvenile delinquency.
“It’s not even about the frequency. It’s about the intensity — people are scared,” he said.
“People in normal business are taking extraordinary measures to reduce the threat of violence and crime.”