Calls for GC’s wanding trial to be expanded as police continue tackling knife-crime

Police are launching a new anti-knife campaign on the Gold Coast, as parents of deceased teen Jack Beasley praise the success of the knife-wanding trial.

The ‘I live my life… without a knife’ campaign hopes to increase community awareness of the consequences of knife-carrying in public places, while empowering people to make safer choices.

NFL player Jesse Williams is the face of the campaign, saying he knows how just a couple of decisions can lead youths down the wrong path.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


“It’s really important for me, being a young indigenous man from the south side of Brisbane, and obviously being around a lot of these low level crimes, and the decisions and choices that inflict in the community.

“This, with Queensland Police and the knife campaign, but the big message with us through the story telling, and a lot of our community work is based around helping and aiding today’s youth, especially within the community, making the right decisions and choices to move their lives forward.

“It obviously takes certain situations and negative consequences for these kids to really see where the negative sides of their decisions and choices can lead to,” Mr Williams said.

It comes as the Gold Coast’s knife-wanding trial reaches the half way mark.

After six months, officers on the Gold Coast have ‘wanded’ 1491 people, finding 51 weapons ranging from knifes to swords.

“Things such as knives, scissors, screw drivers, those types of items which have been recovered,” Gold Coast’s Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman said.

“But we’re finding swords, axes, swords and other large implements that people are secreting on their person and walking around the streets.

“So the idea of the wanding trial is to highlight that if you come into these areas, you are likely to get wanded, and these items are likely to be recovered.

Around 34 percent of people wanded, or around 600 people, were under the age of 18.

95 people have been arrested on 122 charges relating to weapons, breaches of bail, drugs and other offences.

But in pleasing news, the trial is actually resulting in a reduction in knife-related crime.

Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman says they’re expecting good things once the trial is officially reviewed by Griffith University in May next year.

“We’re confident that the review will see that our officers are doing an exceptional job, they really are.

“We’ve had no complaints in relation to the activities, the wanding trial that’s being conducted.

“We actually have generally positive comments, including friends of Jack (Beasley) himself,” Chief Superintendent Wildman said.

Brett and Belinda Beasley, the parents of Jack Beasley, who was stabbed to death in Surfers Paradise back on December 13 2021, says it’s clear the trial is working.

“It’s so important that this wanding trial keeps going forward,” Mr Beasley said.

“It’s clearly saving lives, the stats out there are great. We need that wanding trial to keep going, and after the trial to be passed.

“And I do believe that every police officer, not only here in southeast Queensland but state wide, should have a wand on them,” he said.