Police support resources bolstered across Mackay district
A NEW program targeting youth crime recidivism, extra police and frontline support facilities have been pledged for the Mackay district in a multimillion-dollar funding splash.
Police Minister Mark Ryan today committed an extra 150 officers to be deployed to the Mackay district, as well as establishing a Wellbeing Centre, a $5 million Frontline Operations Support Centre and $3.5 million for a new police station in Clermont.
Mr Ryan said the funding and facility pledges were part of the State Government’s “historic investment” in policing across Queensland in what he described as the “biggest investment in the Queensland Police Service in over 30 years”.
The investments were part of the government’s holistic approach to tackling crime rates, and the relatively new Youth Justice Co-Responder program would also be rolled out in Mackay.
“It’s not just the frontline officers who are important here, it’s also the frontline support which supports those officers to ensure they’re not stuck behind a desk doing paperwork and they’re out in the community keeping the community safe,” Mr Ryan said in Mackay today.
“There will also be frontline officers deployed right across the state.
“These will be people who will work in communication centres and watch-houses as well as also in police prosecutions and those other frontline back-of-house roles.
“It’s a very important investment and I know it will make a big difference in freeing up the capacity of existing officers so they are out and about in the community more often.”
The $5 million Frontline Operations Support Centre, he said, would be a “brand new space” built for purpose, freeing up capacity at existing stations.
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The QPS Wellbeing Centre would employ 10 extra injury consultants, providing support to help officers hurt in the line of duty return to work sooner.
“This is all about making sure our officers are healthy in mind and body,” he said.
“It makes a big deal to the support available to police.”
The Youth Crime Co-Responder program would also launch in Mackay after earlier this year launching in Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.
Mr Ryan said the program, which would pair officers with other government agency workers such as Youth Justice, was the “new way of doing policing”.
“This is where police officers work alongside support agencies and other government agencies to deliver prevention services at the right time in the right place,” he said.
“It means there is a police officer and a Youth Justice worker in the car together.
“They respond to hotspot locations, they engage with young people and divert young people from the criminal justice system.
“This is the best way to reduce crime in a community.”
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said the commitments were fully funded and the “money is on the table”.
“We know that our local police officers here work very hard to make sure that when there is crime, that the clean up rate here in Mackay is one of the best in the whole of Queensland,” she said.
“The best way to stop crime in our community is to make sure that everybody is making the right choice; everybody is able to get into employment and everyone is able to contribute to our community.
“That’s what our local police do so well right here in Mackay.”
NQ First leader Jason Costigan has promised $8.5 million for a new police station at Clermont if his minor party wins the balance of power.
Burdekin MP Dale Last has been campaigning for the new police station for years. No LNP commitment has been made yet this election.