Gladstone Police Acting Senior Constable Dave Lemalu.
Gladstone Police Acting Senior Constable Dave Lemalu. Brenda Strong

Street chaplaincy program set to help curb violence in CBD

GLADSTONE Police have turned to God in a bid to resolve alcohol-fuelled violence in the CBD.

Next month Gladstone Police and local church groups will launch a street chaplaincy program to help revellers at the end of a night out.

The initiative will have about 10 volunteers from church organisations in Gladstone who will provide city-goers with water, a listening ear and place to sober up in the CBD precinct on Saturday nights.

The program, which has been successful in Brisbane and Townsville, comes as Gladstone Police ramp up Operation Parasol initiatives.

Police are hoping the program will be launched across the Easter weekend.

Gladstone Police Acting Senior Constable Dave Lemalu will travel to Townsville this weekend to get a first-hand look at the initiative up north.

Volunteers will receive police training to keep themselves safe.

"We want people to come to town, enjoy their night and stay safe. Not get themselves injured or in trouble with police."

Gladstone Christian Leaders Network Pastor James Hewitt said training would begin next week.

"The churches look forward to making a difference in the community," Mr Hewitt said. But even before it has started, there are concerns about long-term funding from the CBD Community Safety Group to keep the initiative going.

Act Snr Const Lemalu warned that without a new approach to alcohol-fuelled violence, it would impact the whole community.

(It) will become your problem eventually," Act Snr Const Lemalu said.

What does it involve?

  • Part of Gladstone Police's Operation Parasol.
  • 10 church volunteers trained to deal with drunken revellers.
  • People can sober up in the presence of the operation.
  • Launched on Easter weekend.



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