Joyrides, drugs, bragging rights: Inside notorious gang
THEY'RE young, violent, and above all else, not afraid to get caught.
Brisbane's brazen juvenile criminals are wreaking havoc across the southeast and using social media to boast about their illicit lifestyle choices.
Some of the state's youngest offenders are spruiking their numerous car thefts, dangerous driving and drug use on several online platforms.
In many cases, the daring culprits aren't afraid of being recognised, leaving their faces and identifiable tattoos clearly visible for their thousands of online followers.
Some videos include members of the notorious Southside Gang, and their rival Northside Gang - who were believed to be involved in an Australia Day inner city brawl that cost one young man his life after he was stabbed several times in the back and chest.
In videos and photos obtained by The Courier-Mail, juveniles can be seen exceeding speeds of over 200km/h on Brisbane roads, showing off stolen goods - including luxury cars and designer jewellery - and splashing thousands of $100 and $50 bank notes.
One video, which The Courier-Mail has chosen to blur to protect the youngsters identity, shows an underage boy snorting what appears to be cocaine off a table.
Frequent comments on posts include "FTP" (F**k the police), "YTB" (yeah the boys), and more worryingly, words of congratulations and encouragement from fellow followers on a job well done.
The teens brazenly brag about cars they have stolen, posing on the bonnets of luxury cars or posting videos of high speed street races through Brisbane tunnels.
The gang targets luxury makes including Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Jeep and Audi.
Terrifying footage of drivers clocking up to 230km/h on Brisbane highways while weaving around other motorists shows just how close they come to tragedy.
The teens show no remorse, writing 'unlucky bud, make sure you lock up ur next one' on a photo of a vandalised Merc.
According to Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming of the Queensland Police Service, the juveniles who choose to post about their criminality online aren't afraid of being recognised, but instead, revel in it.
"They're certainly in it for the notoriety, and for some, it motivates them," he said.
According to Queensland Police Service statistics, around 85 per cent of juvenile offenders would cease criminality after two cautions from police."
Of the small number who continued to offend, Det Sup Fleming said some were violent.
"The majority of young people are just good people, and they won't ever come to our attention," he said.
"There are certainly a small number of people however, who associate themselves with these gangs and are well known to us … And of those who continue to offend, some of them are violent and some of them do commit robberies."
Interestingly, Det Sup Fleming said there were some links between members of juvenile gangs and Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs when it came to the appeal of notoriety, but he doubted social media is going to get these kids a place as the next bikie enforcer.
"I'd be surprised if bikies actually scroll Instagram to see who looks good at crime," he said.
"But obviously these people do associate over time … and some of these people may think, 'right, I'm going to get into the next stage of my criminality'."
Det Sup Fleming said no matter if juvenile offenders belonged to gangs or acted alone, the police response would continue to remain strong.
"If you're committing robberies and you're stealing cars in order to commit break and enters and doing those types of things, and driving dangerously on the roads, then that's a problem," he said.
"For police, it's about keeping our community safe. That's what we're focused on, and that's what motivates us."