130 strong Police Squad to crack down on offenders

Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

Community safety is always the focus of police in Townsville and in the last two weeks investigators have charged 65 people with 158 offences.

This builds on the work of the on-going Operation Romeo-Seville which has resulted in 864 offenders charged with 2987 offences.

To continue the focus on community safety, a new initiative, Operation Sierra Silhouette, will be swung into action from Saturday 19 September

The operation will target known recidivist offenders and hot spots, as well as conducting prevention and disruption strategies.

130 police officers will take part in this targeted operation which will include specialist officers from the State Flying Squad, and officers from the Criminal Investigation Branch, Child Protection Investigation Unit, Rapid Action Patrol, and the Tactical Crime Squad.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said Townsville police had a reputation for regularly deploying operational taskforces to maintain community safety.

“The Queensland Police Service is world class, and is always looking at strategies to keep the community safe.

“This new operation, supported by the State Flying Squad, will crack down on recidivist offenders.

“Townsville is resourced with over 700 police officers permanently based here, an increase of over 100 under our government.

“It is important for the people of Townsville to know that the 130 police taking part in this targeted operation will support the disruption of criminal offending,” Minister Ryan said.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the government has a strong plan to deal with youth crime in Townsville.

“We have made amendments to the Youth Justice Act to make it clear that if a young person is an unacceptable risk to the community, they must be refused bail,” he said.

“The LNP voted against this in parliament.”

Mr Harper said he supported a dedicated police operation for Townsville and was pleased to see how swiftly police acted proactively.

“These officers will support a team targeting recidivist offenders and known hotspots to reduce crime.

“This is how our modern police service runs, they have the flexibility to respond with a surge in police numbers when and where required,” Mr Harper said.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Palaszczuk government has delivered an extra 104 police to Townsville, fast-tracking 53 officers, so now there are more than 700 police officers permanently based in the Townsville District.

“This contrasts with the LNP, under Campbell Newman and Deb Frecklington, which sacked 110 senior police and cut more than 300 police personnel,” he said.

“We also make sure police have the tools to do their jobs.

“This month we announced the introduction statewide of high tech cameras and drones to crackdown on hoons.

“These resources add an important string to the State Government’s bow to keep our roads safe.

“We make no apologies for doing everything we can to get hoons off the road and keep people safe,” the Member for Townsville said.

Deputy Commissioner Paul Taylor said Townsville police were part of the local community and police greatly appreciated the support of local residents.

“The relationship police have with the local community is critical.

“Support from the community means we get the information we need to target those offenders who wish to cause harm.

“I know how passionate Townsville police officers are about community safety, and I look forward to the results of Operation Sierra Silhouette,” Deputy Commissioner Taylor said.

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