The state opposition says a promise for more police officers is too little, too late, with coronavirus operations proving that Queensland police are stretched to the limit.
There are fears the community is at risk, with police struggling to keep across operations at the border and hotels, as well as keep up with their normal duties.
“They don’t have enough resources, they’re tired, they’re working around the clock,” Member for Broadwater David Crissafulli told myGC.
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“We’re seeing what happens when you don’t keep pace with police numbers for a growing city, and that’s why the Gold Coast police officers are at breaking point, and that’s why, as a city, we’re going to be less safe unless we address this immediately.”
It comes after two stabbing attacks in Surfers Paradise last week alone, one resulting the death of a young father.
“My call is that this can’t go on. It can’t go on for the mental health and wellbeing of police officers and it can’t go on for the tax payer, who just wants to know that they can go to work, then go out at night and be safe,” Mr Crissafulli said.
While the state government over the weekend announced plans for more than 2,000 extra officers and support staff over the next five years.
Related article: State Govt unveils massive boost to Police numbers across Qld
But Mr Crissafulli has been quick to criticise the announcement as too little, too late.
“I’m not sure whether a politician standing up two minutes to midnight before an election, after his government starved our city of the resources it needs, I’m not quite sure that has a lot of credibility.
“I’m going to keep calling it for what it is; the police service is stretched from one end of the city to another, officers are at breaking point, and as a result, our community will see that impact.
“That’s coming from senior police officers themselves,” Mr Crissafulli told myGC.
Queensland police are currently rejigging operations again, with more officers needed for hotel quarantine and border patrols.
Another hotel is being stood up to accommodate for an increase in overseas arrivals, while more officers will need to step in at the borders once the ADF pulls out troops.
The Police Minister Mark Ryan admits it’s fair enough for people to think that police may be a little stretched at the moment, but assures there are plans in place to make sure all bases are covered.
“It is legitimate that some people are thinking about how police will be able to cover everything,” Minister Ryan told myGC.
“Well we’ve done something very strategic, we’ve created two pools for policing. One does business as usual, and that is being maintained to an appropriate level so that we can respond to calls for assistance.
“And the other pool is around the COVID work, so the quarantine work and the border work, and were making sure we’ve got sufficient resources to do that as well.
“What we’ve done with creating those two pools to to ensure that the COVID work doesn’t impact the business as usual work and vice versa,” Minister Ryan said.