Thursday, August 31, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
A 12-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with one count of arson, following a suspicious fire in an unoccupied house in Jubilee Pocket, on Shute Harbour on Tuesday, August 29.
Police and fire crews were alerted of the blaze at 4pm on Tuesday.
One Ambulance crew also attended the scene, with Queensland Ambulance Service reporting no injuries sustained.
The fire was quickly contained, with the house known to be unoccupied.
Police spoke with a number of juveniles present and charged one 12-year-old boy with one count of arson.
The boy will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.
Dozens of people took to social media, commenting about the incident on popular site Whitsundays Chat.
“12 years old, great future ahead for this young lad,” said one post.
“Might be the wake-up call he needed,” said another.
“I feel sorry for the parents going through the stress of trying to do their best and now being judged by the community.”
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that youth crime has spiked significantly since COVID.
In 2019, there were just 18,353 youth offenders prosecuted, compared to 61,229 in 2022.
In the past year there has been a three per cent rise, but the most significant rise has been since COVID.
Two thirds of offenders are male.
In Queensland, youth detention rates are higher than any other state or territory, according to the Productivity Commission.
More than half of all the offenders convicted are re-sentenced within 12 months of release.
A suspicious house fire engulfed a Jubilee Pocket property. Photo supplied