Child abuse investigations to receive $3.2m boost

QUEENSLAND Police have rejected a commission of inquiry's findings the war against bikies detracted from their focus on other crimes, such as child abuse.

Acting Commissioner Ross Barnett refused to be drawn in on whether the report's author, barrister Michael Byrne, was wrong in finding other crimes had "flourished" while police turned their attention to outlaw motorcycle gangs.

But Acting Comm Barnett said police were disappointed by the comments in the report when it was released on Friday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced $3.2 million would go toward boosting frontline investigations into child exploitation.

She said it was the left-over money from the commission, which was originally budgeted at $6 million.

"This is merely a first step," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Myself, the attorney-general and the police minister will look closely at the report's 43 recommendations, and how we can tackle challenges in other areas like financial crimes and illicit drugs.

"If there's an opportunity to move quickly on some of those recommendations, we will."

The Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry found 200 detectives were investigating bikies, which accounted for 0.52% of crime in the State, while other areas of organised crime had a handful of detectives.

But Acting Comm Barnett said Taskforce Maxima, the specialised group focusing on bikies, had 89 officers.

He said 38 officers were part of Taskforce Argos, which investigates online child exploitation and abuse, and 100 overall attached to child safety and sex crimes group.

Shadow police spokesman Jarrod Bleijie described Acting Comm Barnett's refute of the inquiry's finding about certain crime flourishing as a "complete smack down".

The Kawana MP said it was a political report designed to cause chaos in the police service and to abolish the LNP's criminal gang laws.

"It is nothing more than a secret, orchestrated report," Mr Bleijie said.

"The victims of crime did not have an opportunity to have input into the report.

"Evidence gathered in the report has not been tested."

He said other crimes did not increase while police were targeting bikies as more than 1000 additional police were put on the beat in the last few years.

- APN NEWSDESK



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