Sunshine Coast police out on Ocean Steet, Maroochydore on a standard Saturday night. Picture: Patrick Woods
Sunshine Coast police out on Ocean Steet, Maroochydore on a standard Saturday night. Picture: Patrick Woods

‘Too much bloodshed’: Top cop’s fears after rise in assaults

One of the Sunshine Coast's top detectives fears more lives could be lost to alcohol-fuelled violence after a spike in the number of "severe" assaults linked to nightclubs.

Sunshine Coast CIB officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said too much blood was being spilt on streets meant to be safe night precincts.

He said police patrolled the precincts regularly and that authorities were working with establishments and security to improve safety.

However, he said the message hasn't reached everyone.

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Sunshine Coast CIB officer-in-charge Daren Edwards.
Sunshine Coast CIB officer-in-charge Daren Edwards.

In 2020 alone, four people were charged with manslaughter from unlawful striking causing death, numbers Sergeant Edwards says could easily go up.

"Some of those ones where victims are in free fall, half knocked out and your head hits the floor, it can result in death," Sergeant Edwards said of the incidents.

"It's one step away from serious head injuries to death, which we have seen happen here.

"People are not thinking. If you're out drinking grog and you can't curb your behaviour.

"Some of these people will end up in jail, and numerous have gone to jail. Who wants that from one night on the grog?"

To the year of March 2020, Queensland Police Service data revealed there were 1054 assaults across the Sunshine Coast district.

Some of these alleged offences include a 36-year-old man who "stalked and attacked" three teenagers at the Big Top Shopping Centre, punches thrown at Ocean Street and glassing incidents.

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Sergeant Edwards said generally, assault numbers were on the rise, but he said there was also a spike in the number of severe assaults in safe night precincts.

"The ones near nightclubs seem to be more severe than the private ones, for whatever reason," he said.

"Bad assaults, really bad, some where behaviour has just deteriorated.

"Perhaps more alcohol is involved and less controlled than at private ones."

Sergeant Edwards said it was difficult to estimate the cost to the victims.

"Obviously some have a very slow recovery, when you have facial fractures it takes time, you lose work, medical bills, not to mention the cost on our health resources," he said.

"But then you have the mental side of it too.

"People should be able to go out and not be worried you'll run into someone."


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