More than 300 arrests have been made in the first two weeks of a month-long crackdown on youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Townsville.
Operation Oscar Merchant, a police operation being conducted as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Townsville Strikeforce, is delivering strong results for the community.
Since the operation commenced, 308 arrests have been made and 543 charges have been laid as part of the operation.
Following a Townsville Strikeforce briefing with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Mundingburra MP Coralee O’Rourke, Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper and Townsville MP Scott Stewart, Police Minister Bill Byrne said community confidence was being restored in the city as the police blitz continued to achieve real results.
“These results demonstrate the hard work and commitment by our police officers in making Townsville a safer place to live and visit,” Minister Byrne said.
“We have also tasked the Queensland Government Air Helicopter with Queensland Police Service’s Oscar Merchant operations, to boost police patrol capabilities and assist frontline officers on the ground.
“But it will not interfere with the emergency chopper’s role in medical and search and rescue operations.”
He said the police operation paved the way to a longer-term solution on youth crime in the area.
“Policing is just one element of the Palaszczuk Government’s Plan of Action to tackle crime in Townsville,” Minister Byrne said.
“Our holistic approach also involves addressing the cause of youth offending, enabling enhanced service delivery across government, delivering youth justice crime prevention programs and boosting jobs and training in the area.”
Minister O’Rourke said youth crime issues in Townsville would not disappear overnight, but this intensive policing operation was helping to restore community confidence and break the cycle of crime we see with young people across the city.
“Although we are only half-way through the police operation, the Government’s firm commitment to curbing youth crime in Townsville is achieving real outcomes for the local community,” she said.
Northern Police Region Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor said Operation Oscar Merchant was employing a number of policing strategies to address offending behaviour and enforce bail conditions and curfews.
“We have deployed an additional 30 officers with a variety of operational expertise such as officers from the public safety response team, the dog squad, the Road Policing Command and the State Flying Squad to complement local police,” Assistant Commissioner Taylor said.
“Over the weekend, we also engaged a government helicopter to increase support for officers on the ground and boost our patrol capabilities.
“With 11 lives already lost on Townsville roads this year, motorists should also notice a high police presence out and about with various traffic enforcement activities underway as part of the operation.”
Assistant Commissioner Taylor said the Service was resolute in its commitment to tackling crime in Townsville.
“We have already seen promising results stemming from Operation Oscar Merchant and we will continue to maintain our solid commitment to reducing crime in Townsville,” he said.
FAST FACTS Operation Oscar Merchant (as at Day 14 – 04/10/2016)
- 308 arrests on 543 charges (mostly property crime, drug and traffic offences)
- 596 street checks conducted
- 294 traffic infringement notices issued
- 1,066 RBTs conducted