An enhanced referral service designed to help victims of crime and prevent high risk repeat offenders from getting caught in a cycle of crime has been introduced by the Queensland Police Service.
Member for Bulimba, Di Farmer, represented Police Minister Bill Byrne at the launch of the enhanced service at Police Headquarters in Brisbane.
She said police had long been providing assistance to the community through referrals to external service providers, but new enhancements would allow for a more coordinated approach to supporting Queenslanders in need.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping the people of Queensland safe – and one part of our strategy is to target those who continue to offend against the community time and time again,” Ms Farmer said.
“We know that being tough on crime means being tough on the causes of crime, and that’s exactly what this new police referral system is all about.
“The community rightly expects police to arrest and charge serious and violent offenders, but it is important to acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.”
Minister Byrne said there were often serious, underlying issues that could sometimes lead people to make poor choices along the way.
“Whether someone needs help with a domestic and family violence situation, drug and alcohol dependence or mental health support, the new police referral system means it can take as little as two minutes for officers to make a referral,” he said.
“Officers will even be able to make the referral while they are out on the road, straight from their iPads.”
Commissioner Ian Stewart said the new process would, in the long term, mean more people would get the help they need to turn their lives around.
“The QPS has a big role to play in helping to break the overall cycle of crime in Queensland – but we can’t do it on our own,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“We have very valuable partnerships with other government and non-government organisations that can provide assistance to the people we come across in our day-to-day job.
“While the goal is helping people to improve their situation, it is also about tackling recidivism.
“We hope this will ultimately lead to fewer calls for service and reduced crime – enabling police to make strategic decisions about how to allocate resources to address other local issues.”