A city-wide policing blitz on youth crime and anti-social behaviour will kick off today in Townsville.
Police Minister Bill Byrne said 30 extra police have been deployed as part of Operation Oscar Merchant, and would remain in the city for the next month to assist local crews to tackle youth crime.
“Last week the Palaszczuk Government announced Strikeforce Townsville, a whole-of-government initiative to curb youth crime and other anti-social behaviour here in the city,” Minister Byrne said.
“Our police will play an integral role in this process and that is why 30 extra police from across Queensland will be joining forces with local officers to launch an all-out blitz on youth crime.
“From today and over the next month, taskforce officers will be conducting proactive, high-visibility patrols as well as targeted, intelligence-led policing operations in order to disrupt and prevent young people from offending against the community.
“This tough policing response will feed into the coordinated whole-of-government response. We want to make sure police are not just taking strong action against recidivist young offenders, but playing a part in completely breaking the cycle of crime.”
Deputy Commissioner Peter Martin said most of the 30 officers arrived in Townsville last night.
“The officers deployed here as part of the taskforce will start their shifts today with an operational briefing before hitting the beat tonight,” Deputy Commissioner Martin said.
“These officers have a mix of operational experience and come from a range of different units including the State Flying Squad, the Road Policing Command, the Dog Squad, the Public Safety Response Team as well as from other areas within the Northern Police Region, but outside the greater Townsville area.
“Taskforce officers will work closely with and support our dedicated and hard-working local crews and assist them to identify crime trends and target offenders across the Townsville metropolitan area.
“As well, 15 new recruits will be stationed in Townsville by the end of the year.
“The Queensland Police Service is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all Townsville residents and we will continue to work closely with city leaders as well as both government and non-government organisations to put a real dent in youth crime in this city.”