A new rapid response police taskforce has been established to target serious repeat juvenile offenders and provide immediate support to local communities across Queensland.
Taskforce Guardian involves dedicated Queensland Police detectives and expert Youth Justice (YJ) workers being deployed to key locations to assist local police efforts in disrupting youth crime offending.
Once on the ground, the Youth Flying Squad teams can saturate problem-areas and alongside local police, help foster a positive rapport with high-risk and at-risk young people.
Prior to formally being established, State Flying Squad teams have been deployed to various locations across the state including Townsville, Cairns, Logan, Bowen, Dalby, Ipswich, Emerald, Laidley and Wide Bay.
Since May 7, the teams focusing on youth crime have charged 162 young people with more than 448 offences ranging from stealing, burglary, unlawful use of motor vehicle, assault, and robbery amongst others.
Of these, 105 young people have had proceedings commenced by way of diversionary measures.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Taskforce Guardian will supplement local resources and work with key support services focusing on health, education, disability services and First Nations initiatives.
“Our rapid response teams are highly mobile and go into areas where their expert support is needed most,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“The Youth Flying Squad called Taskforce Guardian is all about supporting local police with detectives and Youth Justice workers to target the high-end offenders in hotspot locations.
“We are already seeing encouraging results and we look forward to rolling out various operations at locations across the state over the coming weeks.”
Commander of the Youth Crime Taskforce Acting Assistant Commissioner George Marchesini said the initiative will strengthen police capabilities.
“The establishment of this new rapid-response arm of the State Flying Squad, solely focussed on youth-crime, will provide immediate support to local police to disrupt youth offending.
“We will continue to work day-in and day-out to address youth crime and work collaboratively with our partners in government and community to achieve better outcomes for Queensland.”