Taskforce set to clamp down on troublemakers

WILD and out of control youth parties on the Gold Coast and throughout Queensland will come under the spotlight of a newlycreated Parliamentary Review Taskforce.

Minister for Police and Corrective Services Judy Spence said the taskforce was being set up to examine the issues surrounding rowdy gatherings of young people that quickly get out of hand due to violent and alcohol-fuelled behaviour.

The taskforce, which includes Member for Burleigh Christine Smith, will be looking at how to improve aspects of law, justice and community safety in this area.

"I am concerned about the increasing number of recent reports of incidents where young people at parties have been involved in the types of activities that cause distress and fear for parents, neighbours and other members of the public," Ms Spence said.

"These parties often require police attendance and can divert police for hours from other important community safety matters.

"Such incidents have been reported in recent months across the state at towns and cities including the Gold Coast, Rockhampton and Cairns."

Recently, police had to attend a wild brawl at Burleigh Heads involving scores of youth after a party which made headlines.

Ms Spence said all parents should have an interest in where their children were after dark, however sometimes, even with the best of intentions, parents were not always aware of the activities of their children at night.

"Quite often a young person will, without a parent's consent or knowledge, invite their friends to their house for a party," Ms Spence said.

"With the increase in young people's access to technology such as the internet and mobile telephone SMS, small parties can quickly spiral out of control.

"Several hundred young people who may be drunk and under the influence of drugs pose special problems for police.

"The taskforce will review these problems and hopefully identify ways in which police, parents and the community can work together to avoid these events occurring".

Member for Mount Ommaney Julie Attwood will chair the taskforce, made up of six backbenchers.

Ms Spence said the taskforce would consider the extent of the problem by researching the number of incidents across Queensland and interstate where police have been called to address large gatherings of young people.

The taskforce, she said, would also look at the role and responsibilities of parents in monitoring their children and their activities at night.

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