The September Meeting of the Youth Behaviour Management Forum chaired by Cr Baberowski saw representation from a broad spectrum of the community.
There were many representatives from Council in attendance, as well as Caloundra Police, the Aura Community group known as Aura Connect along with its sub-committee Aura Safe, BeCA, candidates from the LNP and ALP for the upcoming State Election, and local sitting MP, Mark McArdle.
There was discussion over what could be included in a flyer directing residents to the appropriate authority (Call 000, PoliceLink or CrimeStoppers) being produced by Stockland. Discussion centred upon what could be included in line with Queensland Police guidelines.
All agreed the “PoliceLink” from “Google Play” or “App Store” was an essential tool for members of the public to report any incident. It was highlighted yet again that community members should be courageous and report incidents and include details such as possible age, height, clothes being worn, identifying marks etc of an offender.
BeCA it appears was most likely the only body to support a resident’s report on the recent damage done to Canavan Gracie Recreational Park by cars hooning and ripping up sections of the oval. No one else took the time or effort to report the incident. Police records now show there was just 1 complaint.
Police again reported that their ability to respond to call outs was limited by officers from Caloundra Police being used to man Covid border checks etc. This had a large impact on the police ability to respond to incidents.
Covid restrictions have seen an increase in domestic violence. Each domestic violence call-out takes an average of 4 hours of each police officer’s time, and there are always two officers attending any incident. An increase in traffic congestion also slows the time for police to respond to an incident and adds to that 4 hour time allocation.
An increase of up to 15 police officers at Caloundra is required to bring things up to par according to sources attending the meeting.
The implementation and cost of installing and running Closed Circuit TV was discussed. An example given was the installation of 27 cameras had cost over $150,000 to install. Then the cost to run, maintain and upgrade software as necessary was a further annual cost. Depending on the equipment installed, if you require some of the footage recorded by those cameras, there was an added cost.
Currently Council has no direct evidence that CCTV will act as a deterrent to incidents of crime. This was disputed by members in attendance who had previously served as police officers. A major talking point after the meeting closed was the need for further investigation as to the cost effectiveness of any CCTV installation project and to confirm those large annual running expenses.
Aura Safe and Stockland are keen to support the construction of a police facility at Caloundra South. State government funding would be required to complete the project. There was discussion around is this the best plan to get value for dollars spent? Are mobile units a better use of government funds and would this provide more bang for the buck and be more effective?
A range of options are on the table and with a State Election looming and with both ALP and LNP Candidates in attendance, we can expect some promises over the next few weeks.
The forum will meet again around March 2021.