Queensland Government Fast Tracks Knife Ban for Minors

The police commissioner revealed the ‘nature of offending has truly changed post-COVID.’
Queensland Government Fast Tracks Knife Ban for Minors
Hunting knifes are displayed at a film and television prop company in London, England, on Dec. 13, 2004. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
Monica O’Shea

The Queensland state government will ban the sale of knives to minors and boost the penalty for carrying a knife unlawfully in public.

The changes come amid pressure from the Opposition, the public and police to tackle the youth crime issue following recent incidents.

A grandmother was allegedly stabbed to death right in front of her granddaughter at a shopping centre carpark on Feb. 3.

Premier Stephen Miles believes no one should carry a knife in the community and has lifted the penalty for publicly carrying a knife to 18 months, up from 12 months.

“Today we’ve resolved to bring forward the banning of the sale of knives to minors. We also agreed to increase the penalty for having a knife in public,” Mr. Miles said in a “ target=”_blank“ rel=”nofollow noopener">video posted to X.

“Every Queenslander deserves to feel safe in their home, at the shops and on the streets. I certainly want my family to feel safe when they go to the supermarket.

“There is no reason why anyone should have a knife in public. A weapon that can be used for violence in public is not acceptable.”

In further commentary on social media, Mr. Miles revealed police have asked for increased powers and the government intends to support them.

“This is what police have asked for and we’ve got their backs. We are giving them and the courts all the resources they need to throw the book at serious youth offenders,” he said.

In response to the action from Mr. Miles, Queensland deputy opposition leader Jarrod Bleijie posted links to articles on X, expressing concern the action from the government had taken too long.

“Steven Miles spent six days in hiding. Finally, he crawled out from under his rock today to announce they are considering stuff,” he said on X.
“Steven Miles said he’s angry about the youth crime crisis. Seriously? He achieved what he set out to achieve when he weakened the laws, more young offenders in our communities and not behind bars,” Mr. Bleijie said in a separate post.

It comes after Ipswich grandma Vyleen White, 70, was allegedly stabbed at the Town Square Redbank Plains Shopping Centre in front of her granddaughter.

A 16-year-old boy was charged with murder following the incident. Her daughter Cindy Micallef said the promises from politicians were “too little, too late,” during an interview with Sunrise on Feb. 13.

“I mean I know people have been campaigning for this for a long time but it should never have come to this,” Ms. White said.
“They better move quickly and get it done, that’s all I’m saying. I never want this to happen to anyone else again.”

Offending Has Changed Post-COVID: Police Commissioner

Queensland police commissioner Katarina Carroll held a discussion with cabinet on Feb. 12, in a bid to help address the issue.

During a press conference, she said, “The nature of offending has truly changed post-COVID” and noted the violence has increased.

Ms. Carroll explained while they have had “extraordinary success” diverting children away from the system, there was a “small cohort of children” who were committing “most of the offences.”

“There is a challenging cohort and the violence has been escalating and that’s what we are dealing with here,” she said.
Monica O’Shea is a reporter based in Australia. She previously worked as a reporter for Motley Fool Australia, Daily Mail Australia, and Fairfax Regional Media.
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