Security fears as youths run wild
IPSWICH councillor David Pahlke has called for Rosewood police station to be more fully manned to put an end to rampant anti-social behaviour on the streets of the small town.
Cr Pahlke and local residents are tired of the behaviour of a group of young people who have been harassing people in the streets and destroying property over the last six months.
Cr Pahlke acknowledged "the funding responsibility rests with the state government".
"The problem that we have got is that Rosewood is a four-man station. The police union say it should be a six-man station, but we have got two police working there at the moment," he said.
"I am not blaming the local police. I feel sorry for them."
On Wednesday night Rosewood Bakery's baker, Fabian Wells, was confronted by three youths after they had been harassing a cleaner.
"I walked into the bakery and the female member of the group followed me and refused to leave. When she did decide to leave she grabbed my car keys and ran towards the door."
Mr Wells got his keys back and called the police immediately to say there were "three young people running around making a nuisance of themselves".
"I was able to handle it, but there are other people around town who would have found it quite threatening," he said.
Rosewood Bakery owner Sherwin Regoso said he didn't receive a visit from the police until 1pm the next day.
"If someone did get seriously hurt, is it going to take that long for them to come out?" he asked.
"I have put two girls on in the mornings and two in the afternoon for security purposes now. When I first started here I didn't need to, but because of what is happening I have been forced to. It has come at a high cost to me, but you can't put a price on the security and safety of your staff."
An Australian Special Protective Services representative who had seen "massive change" in Rosewood in six months, said: "There is harassment of people in the street, destruction of property and gangs forming up. There are 10 to 12 young people who seem to be able to walk around this town and do exactly what they like."
Rosewood sergeant Lindsay Kuhrt said it was "an issue that's being dealt with using local intelligence and effective proactive policing".
Cr Pahlke said LNP Member for Ipswich West, Sean Choat, had promised extra police on the beat.
"But that is going to take 18 months to two years," he said.
"I raised this issue with Inspector Kevin Keillor in Ipswich six months ago."
Queensland Police Union did not respond by the QT deadline.