Specialist police arrive after youth crime 'spike'

A horrified mother has spoken of the moment her car was rammed while out Christmas shopping during a north Queensland youth crime "spike".

Melissa Young-Florence said she had "never felt so scared in her life" after being targeted by a group of youths while driving in Townsville.

Police said five patrol cars have also been rammed during a youth crime spree that has prompted 28 specialist officers to arrive in Townsville.

Ms Young-Florence said she was on a Christmas shopping trip when suddenly the back of her LandCruiser was repeatedly rammed.

When she pulled over to call police, the youths are accused of ramming the vehicle again before exiting their suspected stolen car and confronting her.

"They took a weapon out and started smashing the glass of the back of my LandCruiser," Ms Young-Florence said.

They threatened her with a weapon before neighbours helped chase them away, she said.

"I've never been so scared in my life. You don’t know what it feels like - they were ready to kill me," Ms Young-Florence said.

Some 79 vehicles have been stolen over the past week in the Townsville area, with many believed to have been used in ram raid robberies on local businesses. 

The specialist officers were sent north in a bid to curb what police have called a crime spike in the region. 

Twenty people have since been arrested, including 15 children.

They have been charged with a string of offences including an 11-year-old boy on four counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said a small number of repeat offenders were committing the majority of crimes.

She said police would "come down hard" on  young offenders.

"These people will stop at nothing, not only in terms of injuring the police but also stop at nothing in injuring the community," the commissioner said. 

Queensland opposition leader David Crisafulli called the offenders "a generation of untouchables".

"There is a generation who are laughing at the law makers," he said. 

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