QLD_GCB_NEWS_SCHOOLIESHERE_21NOV_LAUGHLIN(2)
QLD_GCB_NEWS_SCHOOLIESHERE_21NOV_LAUGHLIN(2)

New tactic to fight crime in Surfers Paradise

POLICE are lobbying to use metal-detecting wands in the party precinct to stop knife-wielding young thugs from viciously assaulting members of the public.

Senior officers are putting together a plan that would enable them to search for weapons in the city's Safe Night Precinct.

The mobile wands would be similar to those used at airports.

The crackdown comes four days after 17-year-old Jack Beasley was stabbed to death on Surfers Paradise Blvd about eight o'clock on Friday night.

A 15-year-old has been charged with his murder.

Police conducting Operation Romeo Luminous on Thursday at Coomera Train Station. Picture: Jerad Williams
Police conducting Operation Romeo Luminous on Thursday at Coomera Train Station. Picture: Jerad Williams

Acting Superintendent Brendan Smith said people needed to realise that if they bring a weapon into the area, they will be "wanded."

"We are looking at a project where we would have the capability, in certain circumstances, to wand (metal detector) people. People need to understand that if they come into one of the Safe Night Precincts, there's a likelihood they might be wanded," Supt Smith said.

"We will start within the Safe Night Precinct area and we will do an evaluation and decide where we go from there.

"There's some legal issues around doing it, but we are working through that now."

Police are fed up with the growing trend of serious offending by young people, which has seen teens bashing and robbing each other of their brand named clothes, violent assaults and drug use.

Police arresting a person in Surfers Paradise. Picture AAP/David Clark
Police arresting a person in Surfers Paradise. Picture AAP/David Clark

Supt Smith said there was a disconnect with people not understanding the consequences of their actions and how quickly things could turn bad.

"They'll argue that they carry them (knives) for protection, it's seen to be cool. They don't understand the consequences of their behaviour and it's important that they remember that the carrying of a knife is illegal.

"I don't think we are seeing an increase (in the use of knives), but the consequences when people get stabbed can be severe.

"There was an adult stabbed last week in Southport and he got stabbed in the heart and lived.

"I think it is a concern (the level of violence). It shows a mindset that they don't understand the gravity of their behaviour. The consequences of assaulting or using a weapon on someone can go bad instantaneously, in the blink of an eye."

Police officers from the Gold Coast Rapid Action Police unit (RAP) on patrol at Helensvale Shopping Centre and the Railway station targeting public order issues. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS
Police officers from the Gold Coast Rapid Action Police unit (RAP) on patrol at Helensvale Shopping Centre and the Railway station targeting public order issues. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS

Supt Smith said a small minority of young offenders were committing crimes, with trends showing an actual drop in offences.

"It's important that people understand that youth crime is actually trending down, but there are key players that are recidivist offenders.

"In the main, kids are good, but we've got some complex children that have some complex issues, which are the ones reoffending and a lot of our efforts are going into (them).

"We have to work with the families. It's not just a policing issue, it's a whole-of-government approach. I dare say there are some kids beyond our help, but they've got siblings that if we can get to them before they go down the wrong path, that is where our focus needs to be.

"Like any large city, we have issues from time to time and I think we need to be careful that we do not vilify kids in general, because in the main they are good."

Through Operation Romeo Luminous, police have flooded train and tram stations, as well as shopping centres across the Coast to try and snub out any violence before it has time to smoulder into a blaze.

He said police were actively patrolling the city's train and tram network.

"We have police constantly on the light and heavy rail. We work closely with the Railway Squad and we work closely with Logan police.

"They're coming from all over, to blame a particular area would be unfair, they're coming from Logan, South Brisbane, Ipswich, all over. The state is shrinking with the ease of access through our transport links."



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