SUNSHINE Coast police are among the highest in the state using pepper spray on call-outs.
The Coast's police sprayed or threatened to spray 56 people last year.
It puts them equal third in Queensland for the highest number of Oleoresin capsicum spray incidents in 31 police districts.
The Sunshine Coast is on equal footing with metropolitan police department Brisbane Central, but behind other tourist destinations such as Cairns, 63, and the Gold Coast, 123.
It is a significant decrease from 2009 where the Sunshine Coast, 79, came in at second, just behind the Gold Coast, 164.
The new figures were released by the Queensland Police Service under Right to Information laws last week.
One in 14 of those sprayed or threatened with spray were children.
The juvenile statistic is below the state average of one in 13.
The figures on QPS usage figures of OC spray comes a week after a Crime and Misconduct Commission evaluation reported concerns about taser usage on the mentally ill.
OC spray was introduced to the QPS after a 1997 Queensland trial.
Sunshine Coast police acting superintendent Peter Schultz said capsicum spray “use” figures revealed the battle the region's police had endured with its entertainment precinct and the constant surge of tourists during peak seasons.
Supt Schultz said statistics included people sprayed and threatened with spray, despite media reports describing the figures as people “sprayed or foamed”.
“It would be an indication of the issue of anti-social behaviour we have had in the past in our entertainment precinct like Mooloolaba,” he said.
“We've had a 40% decrease in OC spray incidents over the last three years and it's improved because of the proactive work of the liquor accords, Mooloolaba pubs and clubs and the Mooloolaba police beat.”
He said police policy meant officers could use force if a person was a threat to the safety of police, members of the public or themselves.
“Police are faced with a certain amount of public nuisance people affected by alcohol.
It (OC spray) is a better option than some we have had in the past, including the baton and closed fists.”
USE OF PEPPER SPRAY
The number of people Sunshine Coast police sprayed or threatened to spray last year.
Gold Coast police topped the category with 123, followed by Cairns with 63.
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