QLD_CM_NEWS_COMMISH_3MAR20
QLD_CM_NEWS_COMMISH_3MAR20

How top cop plans to cut crime by 5 per cent

POLICE Commissioner Katarina Carroll has set an ambitious target to reduce the crime rate by 5 per cent, which she says is achievable under a major restructure.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Ms Carroll plans to reach her aspirational target by focusing on demand and preventive measures and by officers focusing on public safety crimes such as stolen cars, break-ins and assaults.

In the 2019 calendar year the rate was 10,645 offences per 100,000 people, according to online police figures.

At the weekend The Courier-Mail revealed Ms Carroll wanted more police officers on the beat to keep up with an unprecedented 48 increase in crime call-outs, from 2014-15 to 2018-19.

She said there had been massive increases in demand in police call-outs for mental health, youth justice and domestic violence.

The service is undergoing a major restructure with the realignment of boundaries and commands and a trial is underway to consider police efficiencies and to reduce duplication.

As she awaits the end of the trial the commissioner is yet to determine how many extra officers are needed which will need to be approved and funded by the state government.

But the state's police union has called for another 1650 police and 350 civilian staff.

Ms Carroll told The Courier-Mail she believed the 5 per cent reduction target was realistic, and her structural changes would help reduce crime.

"Because it will come with performance reviews of the organisation as well," she said.

"It will also come with working better together … bringing more people into the front line and assisting the front line."

 

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Picture: David Clark/AAP
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Picture: David Clark/AAP

 

Ms Carroll said once police dealt with increased demand officers would need to work in the preventive space.

"If you can concentrate your efforts on the performance as well as assisting at the front end, and dealing with your demand issues, you will reduce crime," she said.

"People feel, I suppose most challenged in terms of their safety, unlawful use (of vehicles), break and enters, assaults, you need to concentrate your efforts on those and the community will feel safer because, naturally, they're the ones that people feel the most concerned about.

"When you are actually dealing with so much demand, you're not as proactive and preventive as you need to be.

"And that is the street checks (in which police stop and speak to people and ask their details), that is the good order, that is the random breath tests."

Bond University associate professor of criminology and former detective Terry Goldsworthy said the crime rate had been increasing in Queensland for some years, and it was clear the commissioner would have to implement a strategy to contain and then reduce it.

"Any such strategy should ensure that it is transparent, appropriate and accountable," he said.

"Their clearly needs to be a refocus on what performance criteria the QPS using to judge its achievements.

"Simply asking for more police is not the answer, working smarter is."


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