Traders warned authorities months before stabbing

 

SIX months before the stabbing of a teenager, concerned traders warned authorities the trams were bringing freeloading young criminals into Surfers Parardse.

An email trail in late May shows at trader, acting on the behalf of several other businesses,

met with senior police, wrote to the Police Commissioner and contacted council about increasing safety concerns.

 

Traders knew about gangs arriving on Friday night on the tram. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS.
Traders knew about gangs arriving on Friday night on the tram. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS.

"I should point out that the light rail is consistently delivering one type of visitor to Surfers - the grub, the shoplifter," Matthew O'Sullivan wrote to council.

"Amazingly, they are more likely to be fined for fare evasion than any crimes or anti-social acts they regularly commit in Surfers. The kids, whether they be from the Coast or points north like Beenleigh and Logan have no fear of policing."

Mr O'Sullivan met with senior police. He says they listened to his concerns but he remains convinced that morale on the beat in Surfers Paradise was poor and both council and State representatives had failed to act.

Eight days ago 17-year-old Parkwood student Jack Beasley was stabbed to death. Another teen remains in hospital.

Five teenagers have been charged with murder. A 15-year-old has been accused of using hunting-style knife during the alleged attempted robbery.

"I have staff who speak to these kids," Mr O'Sullivan told the Bulletin. "They know they come down on a Friday, in a gang. It happens at 8 o'clock."

Businessman Matthew O'Sullivan — passionate about improving the image of Surfers Paradise.
Businessman Matthew O'Sullivan — passionate about improving the image of Surfers Paradise.

Bond University criminologist Dr Terry Goldsworthy has challenged Police Minister Mark Ryan to find more solutions than rolling out of metal-detecting wands to check random suspects.

"Has a review of the effectiveness of current Gold Coast policing practices been conducted to see where the problem lays," Dr Goldsworthy tweeted.

Mr Ryan described the teenager's death as tragic and maintains community safety was of paramount importance to the Government.

KEEP UP WITH THE CONVERSATION. 50% OFF FOR THE FIRST 12 WEEKS. T & Cs APPLY.

"The Commissioner recently announced an extra 20 police will be deployed to the Gold Coast next year to support the more than 1000 officers already permanently based there. And there is funding to establish three police facilities at Arundel, Harbour Town Shopping precinct and Pimpama," he said.

In a response to a raft of questions, the QPS declined to release information regarding the number of officers rostered on certain shifts, or vacancies in Surfers Paradise. It cited "operational reasons".

The Gold Coast District Tasking and Co-ordination Centre was established to more

effectively and efficiently deploy resources in response to calls for service across the Gold Coast District, a spokesperson said.

"The DTACC is technologically equipped to monitor district police resources 24 hours a day and is resourced accordingly," the spokesperson said.

Dr Terry Goldsworthy — wants to know if there will be a review into Gold Coast policing. Pic by Richard Gosling.
Dr Terry Goldsworthy — wants to know if there will be a review into Gold Coast policing. Pic by Richard Gosling.

Surfers Paradise precinct had additional government funding as part of the Safe Night Precinct, and police continually monitored the extensive Safe Camera network via a live feed to the DTACC.

"When officers identify suspicious or unlawful activity on the live-feed, appropriate action is taken," the spokesperson said.

On whether a date and place analysis been conducted of assaults in the Surfers Paradise precinct to determine if there was a crime problem, police said constant analysis was undertaken.

"Offenders can come from all areas whether it be locally, interstate or internationally - it would be incorrect to attribute a particular area," the spokesperson said.

"Assaults in the Surfers Paradise area had trended down in recent years," the spokesperson said.

The QPS says it cannot release information on planned strategies or operations prior to New Year's Eve.


Speeding drink driver’s brush with death after dramatic Dalby crash

Premium Content Speeding drink driver’s brush with death after dramatic Dalby...

AFTER witnesses spotted the man hooning around Dalby, things quickly became ugly...

1000 jobs created in Western Downs as unemployment rate falls

Premium Content 1000 jobs created in Western Downs as unemployment rate...

WITH unemployment rates rising across Queensland, the Western Downs has swum...

Hotspot lockdowns not statewide restrictions: Premier

Premium Content Hotspot lockdowns not statewide restrictions: Premier

Annastacia Palaszczuk says decision on opening SA to be made at end of month