BORDER WATCH: A Queensland Police officer checks a vehicle entering Queensland. Photo Scott Powick, Newscorp
BORDER WATCH: A Queensland Police officer checks a vehicle entering Queensland. Photo Scott Powick, Newscorp

Mayor calls on MP as crime rises during border duties

One Southern Downs mayor fears border checkpoints may be eating up valuable police resources and leaving the community vulnerable after a recent spate of "opportunistic" crime.

Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg announced he had written to Police and Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan to ask for more police resources in order to cope with both Queensland border duties and local crime.

"Unfortunately, Goondiwindi town has been subject to a series of break-ins, thefts and anti-social behaviour in the past few weeks," Cr Springborg said.

"While council supports efforts to keep Queenslanders safe in the current circumstances of COVID-19, it's important that the balance is right and that state border closures do not compromise local security.

"Our local police have the full support and confidence of council, and we need to make sure our officers are given the support and resources they need to continue to serve our community."

Mr Ryan said police had spoken to Cr Springborg on Friday morning to assure him they had enough resources, and additional resources would be deployed wherever they were needed.

"As Queenslanders have witnessed over many months, our police are performing critical work on Queensland's borders, helping to stop the spread of COVID-19," he said.

"Police are literally saving lives."

Mr Ryan also stood firm in response to Cr Springborg's suggestion that state juvenile punishments were "not a sufficient deterrent" to crime.

He said Queensland had many of the "strongest laws in the nation".

"In addition, the work police are undertaking on the borders has also resulted in the disruption of significant criminal activity, for example the transportation of illegal substances, which has led to serious charges being laid against a number of individual," Mr Ryan said.

"I have been assured by the Police Commissioner that the Queensland Police Service has the resources to conduct border duties and business-as-usual operations".

Cr Springborg also announced Goondiwindi Regional Council would upgrade imaging quality to existing CCTV cameras to better support police, following a rollout of new CCTV in September last year.

The COVID-19 border operation has been labelled as the biggest Queensland policing investment in three decades, and has delivered more than 600 extra police personnel across the state.

Goondiwindi residents should report any instances or concerns about crime directly to the Goondiwindi Police Station on 4671 7777.


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