Police to double numbers at Riverlink, CBD
THE regular police presence in the CBD is set to double with four officers to be stationed at the Riverlink Police Beat.
Currently there are two, but a major operation in the CBD over a two-month period has reaped such rewards that the decision has been made to up the ante.
The Riverlink Police Beat services both sides of the river.
Inspector Michael Trezise gave a presentation to an Ipswich City Council committee meeting, which the QT attended, where he outlined the rationale for the increase in police presence and showcased the positive results that have come from flooding the CBD with extra officers.
"I've only been back in Ipswich for 12 months and when I arrived Riverlink and the CBD, I thought, was under resourced," Insp Trezise said.
"The officers we had there were overworked and were getting assaulted.
"We had two officers there restored permanently.
"In the last 12 months we've made the decision to put more resources in the CBD and Riverlink, and we've flooded it with 10 officers to see what payback we get if put more resources in."
The action reaped impressive dividends.
"In those two one-month periods we arrested over 100 people, we did 1000 street checks and cleared a number of warrants," Insp Trezise said.
"So based on those two one-month trials we have made the decision to increase the number of police at Riverlink and the CBD, mainly because we are going to get bang for our buck.
"So we are going to double it and put four police there ongoing, and then run regular ops where we put the CPIU (Child Protection and Investigation Unit) into Riverlink and the CBD and put our PLOs (Police Liaison Officers) in to walk the beat more.
"I think there is some scope to have some real impact in the CBD."
Cr Andrew Antoniolli, a former policeman, asked how the police on the beat would be tasked, whether it be two one side of the river at Riverlink and two the other side in the main street area of the CBD.
Cr Antoniolli reiterated his belief that the Ipswich mall needed more attention.
Insp Trezise said resourcing decisions would be in the hands of highly rated OIC Heidi Mare.
"The four officers will be housed at Riverlink," Insp Trezise said in response to Cr Antoniolli.
"We've got a new officer in charge there, Heidi Mare, who is a new senior constable and a great operator.
"It will be up to her (based on) where the crime is being committed.
"Currently she is arresting personally about 20 people a month which is impressive numbers."
Cr Antoniolli, who represents the CBD, told the QT he was pleased to see the extra resources but that they could still be increased.
"Personally I believe the Riverlink beat needs six officers to adequately cover both sides of the river, hence my question about how the officers are tasked," he said.
"What the traders want to see is a good solid police presence, as do the people who come to the CBD.
"We've been working with the police over the last few years to increase that presence and certainly it is having an effect.
"So it is very welcome to see they have increased the police presence at the Riverlink beat."