CAIRNS Regional Council is expanding its public safety program to include dedicated patrols at known suburb hotspots for anti-social behaviour.
The expansion builds on the initial success of the Cairns Community Safety Plan – CBD Pilot 2022-2026, which was endorsed by Council in May 2022 and aims to manage, respond, and reduce anti-social behaviours, as well as promote positive social interactions in public spaces.
Five additional public space safety officers will undertake patrols to address anti-social behaviour at known hotspots in the suburbs.
There will also be an increase of CitySafe patrols in the CBD, which will increase by 11,680 hours per year, representing a 50 per cent increase on existing patrol resourcing.
Cairns Acting Mayor Terry James said the expansion of patrols to the suburbs was a proactive step to address anti-social behaviour in public spaces.
“The successful CitySafe program has been in place for more than a decade,” Cr James said.
“The increase in patrols is a proactive measure to address increased anti-social behaviour in our public spaces and places as a result of population growth and increased visitation to the city over the past 10 years.
“Council is not taking over the role of policing, that very much remains the jurisdiction of the Queensland Police Service and the State Government.
“However, we understand that council must play a role in addressing anti-social issues which affect residents and could impact visitors.
By working closely with community service organisations, local businesses and other levels of government, Cr James believes council can help to address the underlying reasons, including social, health and economic disadvantage, that may lead to people behaving in an anti-social manner in public spaces.
Extensive security resources continue to be deployed which includes CCTV and street-based patrols to mitigate the occurrence of anti-social behaviours and improve responses and service outreach by partner organisations.
Under the expanded plan, public space patrol officers will take an active role in addressing issues such as cleanliness or damage. They will also undertake regular patrols of emerging hotspots to monitor and report suspicious activity.
Known and emerging antisocial behaviour hotspots will be monitored, with a focus on deterring anti-social behaviour, public drinking and reducing graffiti and vandalism in public spaces.