Police super beat to open
A NEW police “super beat” will open in the Upper Ross early next year.
Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper said the new Bluewattle Boulevard police facility, which will house 10 officers, would absorb the Kelso and Rasmussen police beats, which he said were one- officer beats.
Mr Harper described the old Kelso beat as a “donga” and said the new facility would lead to “increased coverage ( and) increased policing”.
“Single- officer beats were previously part of the community, but the community has outgrown it,” he said.
Townsville Chief Superintendent Kev Guteridge previously said the new facility would mean Kelso and Rasmussen “absolutely wouldn’t miss out” on police coverage.
Opposition police spokesman Trevor Watts said Townsville was in the midst of a crime wave and called on the State Government to rule out closures of police beats.
Mr Watts said Townsville’s crime rate was “getting out of control” and said the city had recently “suffered carjackings, a police pursuit, assaults and stabbings”.
He cited Queensland Police Statistical Review statistics that showed an increase in serious assaults in 2016- 17, rising from 1860 incidents the year before to 1961.
Mr Watts said there was also an increase in unlawful use of a motor vehicle, with 1058 incidents in 2016- 17 compared with 891 in 2015- 16.
“Now is the time to go on the front foot to fight crime in Townsville, but community safety is clearly not a priority for the Labor Government,” he said.
“Labor cut the police budget by $ 44 million this year, and crime is up. This is no way to answer the crime wave in North Queensland.
“Why on earth the Labor Government has cut the budget by $ 44.6 million this year while crime is going up across the state, particularly here in Townsville, makes no sense to me at all.
“The reality is it doesn’t even need to necessarily be extra money. They just need to restore the budget they had.”
SINGLE- OFFICER BEATS WERE PREVIOUSLY PART OF THE COMMUNITY, BUT THE COMMUNITY HAS OUTGROWN IT. AARON HARPER