Boosted summer police patrols nets 1,300 

Published Friday, 13 January, 2023 at 11:53 AM

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

Queensland Police have arrested more than 1,300 people, including 500 youth offenders as part of a major high visibility summer blitz in key locations across the state.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said officers attached to Operation Uniform Theta had laid more than 2,700 charges and conducted more than 3,200 hotspot patrols in the first four weeks of the operation.

“Police have been on the front foot conducting high visibility patrols in known hot spots and engaging with young people over the holiday period,” Minister Ryan said.

“The operation has seen thousands of extra officer hours dedicated to preventing and disrupting anti-social and criminal behaviour on our streets. 

“We know that a high police presence in public spaces and suburban areas has a strong deterrence effect and sends a clear message to would-be offenders.” 

Since the operation commenced on December 19, 742 adults have been arrested on 1,329 offences while 574 juveniles have been arrested on 1,408 offences.

An additional 2,200 police shifts have been allocated on top of normal policing services for the duration of the operation.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Wheeler said Operation Uniform Theta was having a significant impact on key policing districts.

“Traditionally, we do see an increase in property crime and anti-social behaviour over the summer holiday period,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Wheeler said.

“Through this operation, officers are employing a number of strategies to proactively prevent and disrupt criminal activities including walking through shopping precincts, engaging with business operators and patrolling residential areas.

“While we have seen a high number of arrests, particularly with young offenders, our officers are stopping and engaging with hundreds more people and conducting bail checks to ensure there is compliance.”

Minister Ryan said the temporary high visibility patrols being undertaken in select locations would be expanded beyond the operation as part of tough new measures to crackdown on youth crime.

“The Premier announced tough new actions to further strengthen Queensland’s response to youth crime including extreme high visibility police patrols,” Minister Ryan said.

“Operation Theta is an example of how we can boost police visibility in areas where it is needed most.”

Cairns MP Michael Healy said the police crackdown was welcomed by the Cairns community.

“The Cairns community has made it very clear to me that crime and law and order is a big issue in our city,’’ he said.

“That’s why proactive policing operations like this are so important, and clearly a very effective way to reduce criminal behaviour.”

Barron River MP Craig Crawford said high visibility police patrols were important.

“Community safety is our number one priority and along with the tough new measures announced by the Premier we are committed to combating the cycle of crime on our streets,’’ he said.

Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said the Queensland Police Service continued to support the Townsville community.

“Our police do a fantastic job keeping our community safe and as a government we will always continue to support them,” Mr Walker said.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said high-visibility operations like this were important.

“Community safety is our number one priority and the tough new action the Premier announced to combat youth crime builds upon the work the police continue to do,” Mr Harper said. 

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Palaszczuk Government and Queensland Police Service were committed to tackling youth offending and breaking the cycle of crime.

“Our tough new measures include extreme high visibility patrols because we know proactive police actions like Operation Theta make a difference,” Mr Stewart said.

Operation Uniform Theta Statistics


  • 742 adults arrested on 1,329 offences
  • 574 juveniles arrested on 1,408 offences
  • 3,211 crime hotspot patrols
  • 964 business walk-throughs
  • 1,357 service station drop-ins
  • 2,610 bail compliance checks
  • 122 referrals to support agencies


  • 108 adults arrested on 271 offences
  • 81 juveniles arrested on 230 offences
  • 257 crime hotspot patrols
  • 950 bail compliance checks

Far North

  • 71 adults arrested on 88 offences
  • 19 juveniles arrested on 54 offences
  • 701 crime hotspot patrols
  • 82 bail compliance checks

Media contacts 

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

Police Media: Ph: (07) 3015 2444