Member for Burdekin and former Police Officer, Dale Last MP, has called for a review of Police numbers in the Burdekin following concerns raised by community members.
With the district seeing more than 200 premises broken into in the last year, Mr Last said people are concerned for their safety and also for local Police Officers.
“By and large the community supports our local Police and believe that, currently, there are not enough resources to address the issues we are seeing in the community,” he said. “People deserve to feel safe and our local Police need the resources to be able to round up offenders and put them before a court.”
“Over recent years we have seen Police called on to respond to a wider range of incidents and that has increased the workload substantially. Increased reporting of Domestic Violence is just one example of where more is being asked of the same number of officers.”
“People in Home Hill, for example, should not have to rely on Officers responding from Ayr simply because staffing at the Home Hill station restricts their hours of operation.”
“In smaller centres like the Burdekin, there simply aren’t the number of Police to easily absorb a substantial increase in the workload. We need to see staffing levels assessed to ensure that when people in the Burdekin need assistance, we have adequate Police to ensure a timely response.”
Mr Last said a large part of the assessment would focus on ‘calls for service’ and stressed the importance of crimes being reported.
“Police Officers themselves and the Police Service respond to community head,” he explained. “In the last financial the number of Police Officers in Queensland fell by 204 so Officers are in high demand.”
“The fact is that, if people don’t report crime, we won’t see an increase in Police numbers and then, when people need Police, there is a higher chance that they won’t be able to respond as quickly. Failing to report a crime also impacts things like insurance so it is absolutely vital that people report.”
“Unfortunately no community is immune from crime. I know from experience that, when a community works cooperatively with their local Police, the outcomes are better for both Police and the community."