There will be a significant boost to community safety in Townsville over the holiday period with police acting proactively to target those responsible for illegal and anti-social behaviour.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll and Police Minister Mark Ryan were both in Townsville today to announce a raft of immediate and longer-term strategies to support community safety.
They announced there would be a “surge” in police activity across the upcoming holiday period.
Operation Romeo Seville, which was launched in recent months, will see a heightened police presence targeting anti-social and illegal behaviour, over the festive season.
Officers from the State Flying Squad will be deployed to Townsville to support Operation Romeo Seville during the busy holiday period.
Minister Ryan said Operation Romeo Seville was clearly making a difference.
“The efforts of police have been outstanding in Townsville, with a very large number of offenders arrested and hundreds of charges laid.
“I am advised that to date operation Romeo-Seville has resulted in 124 offenders being charged with 444 property and associated offences;
“This is the police supporting community safety.”
Townsville MP Scott Stewart has been a strong advocate for a heightened police presence over the holiday period.
“I welcome the commitment from the Queensland Police Service.
“The Townsville community can rest assured police will be out and about doing their utmost to disrupt any criminal activity,” Mr Stewart said.
The Minister and Police Commissioner also announced the 53 extra police numbers for Townsville would be delivered even sooner, with the entire complement to be allocated by the end of June next year.
The original plan was to deliver 28 new officers to Townsville by the middle of 2020, with the remaining 25 officers to be there by the end of 2020.
The decision to deliver the extra officers sooner, reflects the Queensland Police Service’s commitment to supporting community safety.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the Queensland Police Service remained committed to preventing, disrupting, investigating and responding to crime in the Townsville community.
“The new officers will be a welcome boost to frontline policing in Townsville.
“The new officers will increase the visible police presence across the city,” Commissioner Carroll said.
The Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said the announcement was a real positive for the people of Townsville.
“This is the police supporting our community.
“Our police do a great job and the even earlier delivery of these extra police will help immensely,” Mr Harper said.
The Member for Mundingburra, Coralee O’Rourke, said it was all about community safety.
“I know how much we rely on police.
“Day in, day out, they go about their work with dedication and a real commitment to their community.
“These extra police officers, funded by our government, demonstrate our commitment to the people of Townsville, Ms O’Rourke said.
This will mean that by the middle of next year the Palaszczuk Government has provided funding for an extra 103 police in Townsville since the government came to power.
The Queensland Government committed to an additional 535 police and operational specialists by the end of 2021-22.
This included a commitment to significantly boost officer numbers in Townsville.
Police Minister Mark Ryan welcomed the early allocation of the extra police officers to the Townsville Police District.
“I commend the Police Commissioner for making this happen.
“It shows the Queensland Police Service’s willingness to take into account the needs of each community.
“I also want to acknowledge the unceasing efforts of Townsville’s three government MPs, Aaron Harper, Scott Stewart and Coralee O’Rourke.
“They are always advocating so strongly on behalf of their local communities, especially when it comes to matters of public safety,” Minister Ryan said.
In another development, the government announced a broadening of Operation Regenerate, a bail compliance program designed to help break the cycle of offending among troubled youths.
Police will continue to undertake checks to ensure offenders are meeting the conditions of their bail, including curfews.
At the same time, Police Liaison Officers will lead the mentoring work designed to help these young offenders re-engage with the community and break the cycle of offending.
This will include a focus on direct contact between bailed offenders and Police Liaison Officers.
This positive engagement will involve diverting vulnerable people into existing programs, or supporting groups such as the PCYC to put on programs aimed at reducing offending and negative influence on others.
This approach will support an increased police presence and improved sense of community safety.
Operation Regenerate will link in directly with the Townsville Safer Communities Action Group and Project Booyah to look at improving opportunities for offenders who are prepared to change their ways and turn their lives around.
A strong focus on protecting victims and holding offenders to account will always remain a priority for police.
Minister Ryan said Operation Regenerate was in its infancy and government agencies will constantly review and analyse the effectiveness of the strategies in place.
“Police Officers will continue to conduct bail and curfew checks, and Police Liaison Officers will lead the mentoring work with these young offenders in a bid to set them on a better path in life,” the Minister said.