Po­lice shift itin­er­ants out of race precinct af­ter man wan­ders into traf­fic

Tramps get V8s red light

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SA­MAN­THA HEALY healy@ news. com. au

sa­man­tha. ITIN­ER­ANTS have been moved on from parks close to the Townsville 400 V8 Su­per­cars track ahead of an in­flux of vis­i­tors next week.

The itin­er­ants, who move from park to park, have been moved on from sev­eral lo­ca­tions close to the precinct for their own safety.

It comes af­ter po­lice gave a group of peo­ple a move- on di- rec­tion from Dean Park on Thurs­day night. A man, re­port­edly drunk and af­fected by drugs, was taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter wan­der­ing from the park and into traf­fic.

Po­lice said the man was taken into cus­tody for out­stand­ing war­rants af­ter be­ing med­i­cally as­sessed.

It is un­der­stood he was struck by a car but only sus­tained mi­nor in­juries.

Townsville of­fi­cer- in­charge Act­ing Se­nior Sergeant Craig Robert­son said po­lice were aware of the “camp­ing trends” of lo­cal itin­er­ants.

He said po­lice knew most of the itin­er­ants and tried to work with them to en­sure their own safety and that of the pub­lic.

“The re­al­ity is it is a com­plex is­sue,” he said. “It is of­ten a re­ally sad cy­cle of al­co­holism and itin­er­ant move­ments.

“We will at­tend to them if the pub­lic raises con­cerns and try to drunk di­vert them ( to di­ver­sion­ary cen­tres) but it is a hard cy­cle to break.”

Sen- Sgt Robert­son said ad­di­tional po­lice would be brought in to the city to help man­age event.

“We will have a po­lice re­sponse if there are any is­sues in the pub­lic parks,” he said.

“Po­lice also have pa­trols for itin­er­ant and pub­lic or­der of­fences and they have a good rap­port with known itin­er­ants.

“We have pre- planned the re­sponse to itin­er­ants in parks within the race precinct, and they have been moved on.

“That is for their own safety as much as any­thing else as there will ob­vi­ously be more ve­hi­cle move­ments.”

Ear­lier this year, po­lice fig-


Su­per­cars ures showed that 161 peo­ple had been recorded as stay­ing in 12 lo­cal parks. It prompted po­lice to join with care agen­cies to try and tackle the is­sue.

Townsville City Coun­cil Healthy City Safe City chair­man Gary Ed­diehausen said se­cu­rity of­fi­cers would also pa­trol known trou­ble spots and mon­i­tor CCTV cam­eras.

“We won’t be mov­ing any­one on un­less they are break­ing the law,” he said.

“Peo­ple can con­gre­gate in our parks as long as they aren’t drink­ing, fight­ing or do­ing il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.’’

It is a com­plex is­sue. It is of­ten a re­ally sad cy­cle of al­co­holism and itin­er­ant move­ments ACT­ING SE­NIOR SERGEANT CRAIG ROBERT­SON

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