Leavers calls for more police in Lowood
ANOTHER EIGHT police officers in Lowood are desperately needed in the Ipswich region, and not a rapid action patrol (RAP) hub for the CBD.
That is the word from Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers who has responded to Shadow Police Minister's Jarrod Bleijie claims in last week's QT that Ipswich should have a $2.5 million RAP hub, which was promised by former Premier Campbell Newman in January.
Mr Bleijie took Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller to task for failing to institute an RAP in Ipswich.
But Mr Leavers said the former government's promise was an election stunt and, apart from the RAP on the Gold Coast, most of the hubs were underfunded
"As a police officer who has spent most of my career serving in Ipswich I can say that Ipswich does not need another designated RAP," Mr Leavers said.
"This was an election stunt of the former Newman government.
"Ipswich already has a tactical operations group that does a terrific job and is in effect a RAP already, however this group, whilst it does a great job, has simply reappropriated resources from other police stations, often leaving them short as a result.
"Of the existing RAPs created, with the exception of the Gold Coast, they were never properly resourced with both staff and equipment."
Mr Bleijie said the initial call for an RAP in Ipswich was based on feedback from police, but Mr Leavers has disputed that and said more police in Lowood was the priority
"In our view, rather than a RAP, priority should be given to Lowood Police Station to upgrade it and its police numbers, however no-one has actually consulted police on whether they either need or want a RAP to begin with," he said.
"We see the priorities as being extra cars, body worn cameras and vital equipment such as torches and tasers that are needed, not a RAP.
"For Lowood, we could easily have another eight police there straight away.
"This area is one of the fastest growing and where resources are actually needed rather than a RAP."