‘Nowhere to hide’, FIFO police targeting crime hotspots

Savannah Meacham |

Specialist police will be deployed to Queensland crime hotspots to reduce repeat offending.
Specialist police will be deployed to Queensland crime hotspots to reduce repeat offending.

Fly-in-fly-out specialist officers will be sent to Queensland crime hotspots as part of a new police operation aiming to reduce repeat offending.

Operation Whiskey Legion will start in Ipswich and Logan near Brisbane before moving to other regional areas in the coming weeks.

Specialist unit officers will combine with local police targeting high-risk offenders and identifying future crime hot spots under the rolling operation.

Vehicle theft, property crime, robbery, assault and domestic and family violence are among the crimes being targeted.

“There’s a message to those offenders – there’s nowhere to hide,” Police Minister Mark Ryan said on Wednesday.

“QPS will be out and about surging its capacity, using its intelligence to find where people are, what crimes they’re committing and take the appropriate action.”

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan
Mark Ryan says car theft, property crime, robbery, assault and domestic violence will be targeted. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

The operation will also help expand initiatives like “Bring the Beat” where a mobile police station can be deployed to an area at the request of the local community.

Premier Steven Miles said flying in extra officers to high offending areas has been trialled in recent months but the operation is a statewide expansion.

“Operation Whiskey Legion is all about injecting extra police when police intelligence suggests that crime is increasing or about to increase,” he said.

“It’s about using those extra resources to intervene early to get offenders before their offending escalates, to prevent crime where possible, and to make sure the community feels safe.”

It marks the first initiative under Acting Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski, who took over after Katarina Carroll resigned last month.

Acting Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski
Steve Gollschewski says people living in crime hot spots can expect to see a surge of police around. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

“We will continue tackling crime from all angles to ensure the community is safe and feels safe,” he said.

“Communities can expect to see a surge of police in their area as part of rolling operation deployments in hot spots across Queensland.”

Detectives and officers from all squads including major crimes will be deployed to the operation at times, however it won’t impact their investigation capacity.

“This will be very much managed as we go forward to make sure that the resources we deploy are appropriate to what we need to address and are prioritised in the right way,” Mr Gollschewski said.

The operation will be constantly reviewed for what is effective and what can be adjusted, he said.

Two major operations aimed to crack down on crime in Queensland are already underway with Operation Whiskey Unison and Taskforce Guardian focusing on youth crime. 

The latest data from Whiskey Unison revealed more than 11,300 arrests in the past year, with more than 4100 of those being children.

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