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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Taskforce Guardian continues work against youth crime

NEARLY 50 youth have been arrested on over 140 charges as Taskforce Guardian continues its work with local police officers in curbing the youth crime epidemic.

The Taskforce, consisting of dedicated Queensland Police Service detectives and expert Youth Justice workers, travelled to Cairns to support local police in disrupting youth offending.

Between 21-30 October, Taskforce Guardian focused on targeting juvenile serious repeat offenders actively committing property crime and bail offences within the greater Cairns community.

The deployment also encompassed Operation Victor Saturation, a two-day operation between 26-27 October.

Utilising intelligence on crime trends, Operation Victor Saturation strategically co-ordinated high-visibility patrols of crime hotspots during peak periods, with a focus on engaging with recidivist and emerging youth offenders to address anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Taskforce Guardian in conjunction with Cairns specialist police also collaborated with local shopping centre stakeholders and public transport providers to discuss issues impacting them. As a result, operations were tailored to best support them and community safety.

Between 21-29 October, 64 people were arrested in relation to 170 charges, including 49 young people on 141 charges.

Far Northern Regional Crime Co-Ordinator Detective Superintendent Sonia Smith said Taskforce Guardian is an asset to the region helping strengthen police response to youth crime.

“Taskforce Guardian is more than just boots on the ground, it bolsters our frontline strategically by targeting intelligence driven hotspots to discourage offending, whilst also providing additional resources to focus on the apprehension of serous repeat juvenile offenders,” she said.

“The results from this latest operation are promising, but the impact of Taskforce Guardian is more than just arrests and charges – the power of a strong police presence on our streets in deterring offending and keeping our community safe is critical.

“The outcomes of this deployment reiterate the benefits of having a rapid response team at the ready to further enhance the work by our dedicated frontline police.”

Across two-day Operation Victor Saturation, 34 people were arrested on 93 charges including 26 young people on 77 offences. This resulted in 128 ongoing investigations being finalised.

The borderless nature of Taskforce Guardian allows the dedicated team of police and youth justice workers to deploy any time, where support is most needed.

Taskforce Guardian also works with key support services and local resources to engage at-risk youth with relevant change-orientated programs; focusing on health, education, disability services and First Nations initiatives.

Across this deployment, officers and youth justice workers stopped and engaged with 58 people while on patrols.

Taskforce Guardian’s deployment alongside Cairns police continues.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Region’s best in tourism honoured and Far Northern fire ban extended.

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