July 9, 2018
The State Government has despatched a senior police officer to the Murgon / Cherbourg area and has promised more police on the ground following a recent crime spike in the towns.
Police Minister Mark Ryan and Ministerial Champion for the area, Dr Anthony Lynham, visited both towns on Monday and spoke with representatives from the Cherbourg and South Burnett councils as well as community Elders.
They were accompanied by Assistant Police Commissioner Mike Condon and Inspector Mike Curtain.
Mr Ryan said the communities would have a new, senior officer in the community from Tuesday.
“Murgon and Cherbourg communities have the right to be safe and the right to feel safe,” Mr Ryan said.
He said a Commissioned Officer would be deployed to Murgon on Tuesday for three months “to drive action on the ground”.
An Acting Inspector has been appointed to oversee local policing in the short term.
A Tactical Crime Squad response was also being developed to work through the immediate additional assistance that specialist areas can provide in the short term.
As well, four second-year constables would be taking up permanent positions locally.
“This is about ensuring there are adequate resources and making sure a senior officer is on the ground, working as part of the community,” Mr Ryan said.
Dr Lynham said more co-ordination between government services would also help address social issues before a crime was committed.
“A multi-pronged strategy that addresses keeping kids in schools, helping families deal with issues that may arise and supporting those in need or at risk of offending will help address underlying social issues,” Dr Lynham said.
“As Ministerial Champion for this part of Queensland, I can say the Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with the local community to achieve a better outcome.”
(State Government video)
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said she had been calling on Minister Ryan since February to put more boots on the ground to bring the crime wave in the South Burnett under control.
“Minister Ryan’s response today to allocate a temporary senior copper is a Band-Aid solution for our community,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“We have been calling for a stronger police presence for six months to respond to the increase in break-ins, vandalism and car thefts.
“The community deserves a long-term strategy to boost police resources and restore safety.
“The resources allocated by Minister Ryan fall well short of what is required and I will continue to fight on behalf of the community.”
[UPDATED with correction]