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  • Dale Last

Community calls for crime solution ignored by Labor Government

Despite thousands of local residents and business owners putting pen to paper to call for more plain clothes officers in the Burdekin, the Minister has once again left the region with stretched police resources and frustrated residents to fight a surge in youth crime, according to Member for Burdekin Dale Last.

Following soaring crime rates and a community left frustrated by instances of youth crime in the area, more than 3000 business owners and residents signed the petition for bolstered local police and funding for interim security patrols.

Mr Last said the Minister’s response to the petition was a slap in the face to every victim of crime and front-line police officer in the Burdekin.

“Community safety falls squarely at the feet of this Minister and once again he has demonstrated he’s willing to leave residents and business owners in Ayr and Home Hill to take matters into their own hands,” Mr Last said.

“Over recent months we’ve seen business owners and residents left to conduct afterhours patrols just to ensure their cars are still in the driveway the next morning and going by the response from the Minister,  obviously he considers that acceptable in our small town.”

“Not only did the Minister shirk requests for additional security patrols to ensure community safety, he’s ignored calls from within for additional plain clothes officers at Ayr Police Station.”

Mr Last said the Minister’s attempt to side-step the responsibility of providing additional police resources to the Commissioner was a clear sign he wasn’t interested in improving community safety in the Burdekin.

“Queenslanders have seen through the campaign line about increased police numbers in the state and we know that in fact, there were 322 less police officers in Queensland between July 2022 and December last year and that is not good enough,” Mr Last said.

“Despite claiming that allocating resources is a matter for the commissioner, the reality is that the Minister could overrule the commissioner and in fact could have provided the additional plain clothes officers.”

“We may not live in a bigger city or regional town but it doesn’t mean we should be left to feel we need to fend off young offenders on our own because the Minister has ignored calls from within our police and community for more resources.”

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