Addressing public safety
The Railway Squad provides a dedicated visible uniform police presence on the Queensland Rail (QR) Citytrain Network. Its area of responsibility contains 143 railway stations and in excess of 400 kilometres of railway line.
The current focus of the Railway Squad is to reduce the incidence and impact of crimes against the person and good order offences on the Network with particular attention to patrolling passenger trains and railway stations. The Railway Squad works in close partnership with QR and conducts regular joint operations with QR Transit Officers, regional police and other members of QPS Specialist Services Branch including the Queensland Mounted Police and the Dog Squad.
Student Saferail is an initiative aimed at ensuring the safety and welfare of school students using the rail network. It involves staff from the QPS Railway Squad and Queensland Rail delivering a combination of patrol activity combined with education about significant safety issues. The underlying philosophy of the project is to modify student behaviour and create awareness through the provision of education and information, rather than traditional enforcement strategies alone.
During 2009-10, the Railway Squad was involved in 194 operations targeting criminal offences and good order behaviour on the Network. During this period, the Squad conducted over 30 000 hours of Network patrols and intercepted 11 390 persons of interest, issued 2 943 infringement notices and arrested 1 459 people on 2 338 charges.
In August 2009, the Railway Squad created a first for transit policing in Australia with the introduction of a dedicated Firearm and Explosive Detection (FED) dog to regularly patrol the QR Citytrain Network. The FED dog patrols are conducted on inner city and suburban railway stations and trains on a range of shifts. Other functions for the dog include:
- undertaking searches of QR infrastructure
- providing a high visibility counter-terrorism presence at key locations
- providing rapid response capability to potential threats such as suspect packages and abandoned luggage.
The Public Safety Response Team (PSRT) continues to provide support to regional policing of events and disasters, and provides training to enhance capacity throughout the state. During 2009-10 the PSRT has provided 10 000 hours of training, providing police with the skills they need to effectively and safely manage crowds and potential riot situations.
Good order on the Coast
Police in Gold Coast District conduct operations each weekend across the nightlife precincts of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Coolangatta. In the 2009-10 financial year, the District conducted 172 good order and liquor operations, which had a positive impact on the number of reported assaults and robbery offences. Similar early intervention strategies are used during Schoolies, New Years Eve celebrations and the motor racing carnival.
Inter-venue Radio Project
An Inter-venue Radio Project has been instigated to enhance cooperation and communication between licensed venues, the police and the Gold Coast City Council. The network enhances police reaction times and assists in preventing anti-social behaviours and subsequent offending. The project also supports the capacity of stakeholders to collaboratively discuss strategies designed to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol and substance abuse.
River and Beyond
The Rockhampton City Social Order Committee was established in 2009 to address issues associated with use of public space. The committee is comprised of representatives from government and local council agencies as well as police, and is developing an approach aimed at addressing causal and social factors behind the offending behaviour of people in public spaces. One strategy involves identifying repeat offenders and case managing those individuals to ensure they have access to support and social services through better coordination of existing services.