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Opposition condemns reported move to halve police regions

POLICE regions in Queensland could be halved leaving regional high-ranked officers to oversee areas twice the size of current districts under a review into the Queensland Police Service.

The Queensland Opposition has condemned the reported move to reduce police regions from eight to five and claims it will leave regional Queensland worse off.

According to media reports on Thursday, a QPS review is likely to see the number of high-ranking officers cut and some instated to oversee huge new regions.

It was also reported the 31 police districts would be reduced to 15 and the report would recommend the North Coast region, including Maroochydore, merge with the central region.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said it was anticipated that the outcomes of the review would be announced publicly this month.

"While there have been a number of rumours and assumptions made since the internal review commenced, any premature speculation in the media regarding specific initiatives may cause unnecessary angst to officers, staff and their families," he said.

"The commissioner has not made any decision on the outcomes of the review."

Commissioner Stewart said QPS had confirmed to members on two occasions in the last four months 2212 staff positions would be made redundant by June 30, 2013.

Acting Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin said the move could see police on the Sunshine Coast reporting to an office in Rockhampton.

"Mr Dempsey (Police Minister) needs to guarantee that any reduction in senior police ranks and police regions will not weaken links between the QPS and communities across the state," he said.

"Even with the existing number of regions and districts it is difficult for commissioned officers to interact with local police and their communities.

"Having fewer regions and fewer senior officers risks making QPS decision-makers more remote from rank-and-file police and from the communities they are meant to serve."

The cutting of high-ranking officers would be in stark contrast to a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation into police corruption on the Gold Coast, which found a lack of top cops contributed to the problem.

The controversial proposal comes after Minister Jack Dempsey back-tracked on a plan to condense the Rural Fire Service regions.

Mr Dempsey recently instated former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty to conduct an external review of the police service.

Topics:  queensland government, queensland police service


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