Senior officers said they were aware of an uptick in anecdotal reports about anti-social behaviour
Senior officers said they were aware of an uptick in anecdotal reports about anti-social behaviour

‘Call us, not Facebook’: Cops’ plea to residents over crime

CAIRNS police are begging social media sleuths to report crimes to them rather than Facebook as they attempt to crackdown on incidents involving juvenile offenders in the CBD.

Senior officers said they were aware of an uptick in anecdotal reports about anti-social behaviour involving youths, but could not investigate if they were not told about them.

Cairns City Police Beat Sgt Simon Laverty said people were using social media as a "short cut" to report crime, meaning officers could not attend.

Cairns City Police Beat Sgt Simon Laverty has a message about crime. Picture: Brendan Radke
Cairns City Police Beat Sgt Simon Laverty has a message about crime. Picture: Brendan Radke

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Some of the offences they had learned about anecdotally involving youths in the CBD included stealings and anti-social behaviour such as asking bystanders for money or cigarettes.

Sgt Laverty said there had not been an increase in youth crime, but particularly during the school holidays, there was the "perception of an increase" and they wanted both residents and tourists to feel safe.

Far North police Acting Supt Mark Lingwood said they were working to prevent incidents occurring by increasing street patrols and speaking with youths who were in the city, but they required the public's help.

"If (offences) are not reported, we cannot act on it," he said.

"If we can address the behaviour early … everyone is safe."

He said police continued to use strategies such as placing undercover officers on buses and using bike patrols along the Esplanade and through the CBD.

Sgt Laverty said with the surge in visitors after the Queensland border opened, the image of the city was vital.

"We'd like these people to feel safe and to tell other people to help boost the economy post COVID," he said.

According to the Queensland Police Service's crime map there have been 923 offences recorded in Cairns City in the past three months.

The most common was good order offending including public nuisance which accounted for 287, while there were 182 thefts.

Saturday nights between 10pm and 6am proved the worst period for crimes.

In the previous quarter there were just 777 total offences for the suburb.

Originally published as 'Call us, not Facebook': Cops' plea to Cairns residents over CBD crime


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