Vulnerable Persons Unit launched in Townsville

Published Friday, 29 May, 2020 at 10:04 AM

Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper and Townsville District Officer Chief Superintendent Craig Hanlon today officially introduced the Townsville Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPU).

The new unit will provide continuous strong leadership in order to develop, implement and coordinate a cohesive, informed and quality policing response to vulnerable persons in the Townsville District and prevent community and domestic violence.

This will be done through an integrated risk assessment and case management approach.

Officers in the unit will identify suitable support services for vulnerable persons and will take up on referrals to influence positive behaviour change in perpetrators, consequently reducing harm to the community and repeat calls for police service.

Led by Officer in Charge Sergeant Elise Feltham, the unit is comprised of four experienced police officers dedicated to providing tailored multiagency services to vulnerable persons in the Townsville Police District.

Chief Superintendent Hanlon said that an integral function of the VPU was to engage with vulnerable persons in the community to establish rapport and influence positive behavioural change.

“The Townsville Vulnerable Persons Unit is all about providing support to vulnerable people such as those affected by domestic and family violence, mental health issues or elder abuse to build their capability to deal with the issues that bought them to police attention in the first instance,” Chief Superintendent Hanlon said.

“The dedicated officers that make up this unit are the best placed officers as they have been trained to understand and address issues unique to vulnerable community members and connect them with the appropriate support services.

“With this approach, we hope to reduce the likelihood of vulnerable people in our community becoming victims of crime or becoming perpetrators of crime.”

Mr Harper said forming partnerships with the community, the Queensland Police Service and government agencies would strengthen the reach and effectiveness of the VPU.

“The introduction of the Vulnerable Persons Unit will see the police and partner agencies within the Townsville Police District provide a greater level of support to vulnerable persons in the community.

“This new unit within the Service will address high risk domestic violence incidents and offer ongoing support to those affected, assist with reducing repeat calls for service and most importantly, keep people and families safe,” Mr Harper said.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, contact Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 224 636, or Kids Helpline Official 1800 55 1800

Media contacts 

Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300

Police Media: Ph: (07) 3015 2444