Former Townsville police officer Brett Geiszler, with son Dean 24.
Former Townsville police officer Brett Geiszler, with son Dean 24.

Ex cop: "How many more Jennifers does there need to be?"

A FORMER Townsville police officer has labelled the State Government's new youth crime plan as a "toothless tiger".

Brett Geiszler spent 14 years in the police service, chasing stolen cars through the city and arresting young thieves, and fears the changes were just "smoke and mirrors".

Mr Geizler's son, Dean, was a very close friend to Jennifer Board, who was killed in a fatal crash last week.

"It's a first step, but it's a long way off," Mr Geiszler said.

Former Townsville police officer Brett Geiszler, speaks out about the Premier's new youth crime changes. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Former Townsville police officer Brett Geiszler, speaks out about the Premier's new youth crime changes. Picture: Alix Sweeney

It comes after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced four new measures to give courts more power to keep recidivist offenders locked up, including GPS monitoring devices, creating a presumption against bail for serious indictable offences, and seeking assurance from parents and guardians' that their children will comply with bail.

Ms Palaszczuk also announced three crime prevention measures, including strengthened anti-hooning laws, metal detectors and a parliamentary inquiry to examine the implementation of remote engine immobilisers.

Heading up the new youth crime task force was Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon, a former Townsville Detective who has recently been appointed the head of the state's anti-terrorism unit.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) is watched by Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon as she speaks during a press conference in Brisbane. Ms Scanlon will head the newly announced Youth Crime Taskforce. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) is watched by Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon as she speaks during a press conference in Brisbane. Ms Scanlon will head the newly announced Youth Crime Taskforce. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

The raft of changes come just days after 22-year-old motorcyclist Jennifer Board was killed in a crash involving an alleged stolen car and an alleged vigilante.

Jennifer Board was killed in a crash on February 5.
Jennifer Board was killed in a crash on February 5.

Ms Board was allegedly hit and murdered by Chris Hughes, 25, who lost control of his Holden Statesman after allegedly ramming a stolen car on Ross River Rd on Friday night.

Mr Geiszler's son, Dean, was a "very, very close friend" of Ms Board's.

Dean gave an emotional tribute to Ms Board at a memorial rally in her honour on Saturday, saying she was the most genuine woman he knew.

Mr Geiszler said all these changes still did not give police any power to take children off the streets, and had multiple issues with the new measures, especially GPS trackers.

Former Townsville police officer Brett Geiszler, with wife Bev speak out about the Premier's new youth crime changes. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Former Townsville police officer Brett Geiszler, with wife Bev speak out about the Premier's new youth crime changes. Picture: Alix Sweeney

"All GPS trackers do is tell them where they are, but what's it going to do?"

"Police are going to catch them over and over, but they are hamstrung.

"Police can see them, but cannot arrest them until it's already too late."

The government's changes to the Youth Justice Act included "a reference to the community being protected" from recidivist offenders, and enshrining in the legislation that offending while on bail was an aggravating circumstance when it came to sentencing.

Mr Geiszler said the changes were vague.

Former Townsville police officer Brett Geiszler, with son Dean 24, speak out about the Premier's new youth crime changes. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Former Townsville police officer Brett Geiszler, with son Dean 24, speak out about the Premier's new youth crime changes. Picture: Alix Sweeney

"We are talking about people's lives here … there's no teeth to these Act changes."

"We need breach of bail as an offence."

Mr Geiszler said police were fed up with the "temporary, Band-Aid" solutions.

"Police have got to be getting burnt out … locking up the same people over and over, week after week."

"Police, they know the consequences, they pick up the bodies, how many more Jennifers does there need to be?"

 

 

shayla.bulloch@news.com.au

Originally published as 'Toothless tiger': Former cop slams Govt's crime plan

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during a press conference in Brisbane. Ms Palaszczuk announced the establishment of a new Youth Crime Taskforce. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during a press conference in Brisbane. Ms Palaszczuk announced the establishment of a new Youth Crime Taskforce. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

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