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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Bill Byrne
    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Palaszczuk Government determined to reduce youth crime

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Thursday, October 13, 2016

    Palaszczuk Government determined to reduce youth crime

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced an ongoing increased police presence in Townsville following the continued success of the Palaszczuk Government’s Townsville Strikeforce.

    The Queensland Police Service has advised thatwith the very successful 30 day Operation Oscar Merchant coming to an end on 18 October, a minimum of 10 additional officers will remain in Townsville as part of Operation Oscar Merchant phase 2.

    “I’d like to congratulate police and the community for working together to help make Townsville safe,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “I was extremely impressed when myself, the Police Minister and Minister O’Rourke met with Townsville police last week, and saw first-hand their commitment and dedication to the task.

    “We are determined to support our police in the job they do, and we are determined to crack down on youth crime in the Townsville region.”

    Police Minister Bill Byrne said Townsville Strikeforce is delivering strong results for Townsville.

    “Despite the great work already being done by police, we know more needs to be done to ensure community confidence in the city is restored,” Minister Byrne said.

    “With an extra 19 police already permanently located in Townsville since February 2015, a minimum of an additional 10 police will also remain on the ground as part of the police operation.

    “These additional officers will mean police will be able to continue with the strong crackdown on youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Townsville.”

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and State Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the additional police for Townsville meant residents would continue to see an increased presence of police officers in the community. 

    “Speaking to residents, I agree that our police are doing a fantastic job and the results from the police operation have been fantastic,” Ms O’Rourke said.

    “But I know we need to continue to do more to ensure the safety of our residents and reduce crime in our community.”

    Ms O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government’s holistic approach to address crime in Townsville also involved addressing the cause of youth offending, enabling enhanced service delivery across government, delivering youth justice crime prevention programs and boosting jobs and training in the area.

    Acting Commissioner Brett Pointing said officers would maintain a strong focus on highly visible and intelligence-lead policing in Townsville. 

    “The results from Operation Oscar Merchant are encouraging and I commend the officers involved for their hard work and commitment to the task at hand,” Acting Commissioner Pointing said. 

    “As part of Phase Two, police will continue the operation’s momentum by using intelligence already gathered to target recidivist offenders and roll out further planned strategies.

    “Specialist policing units including the Rapid Action Patrol group, Tactical Crime Squad, Dog Squad and officers from outside Townsville will continue to support local police.

    “We will monitor and assess the situation on a monthly basis as we transition to a longer-term policing strategy as part of a whole-of-government solution to the issues facing Townville.”

    FAST FACTS Operation Oscar Merchant (as at Day 22)

    • 455 arrests on 833 charges (mostly property crime, drug and traffic offences)
    • 967 street checks conducted
    • 1503 traffic infringement notices issued

    Media contact: 37197023 and premiers.media@ministerial.qld.gov.au