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Youth crime blitz across Townsville, Cairns and Brisbane South

TASKFORCE Guardian officers tackled a trio of regions in its latest deployments to Brisbane’s south, Townsville and Cairns, closing in on 68 arrests in a co-ordinated youth crime blitz.

Taskforce Guardian brings together police and expert youth justice workers, who work alongside local police to tackle youth offending and bolster community safety through strategic patrols, targeted investigations, and joint operations including bail checks, community and family engagement.

During Taskforce Guardian’s deployment to Cairns between January 15 and 23, 30 people were arrested including 28 young people on 94 charges and two adults on two offences.

In Townsville between January 15 and 23, Taskforce Guardian arrested 26 people including 22 young people and four adults on a total of 80 charges.

Meanwhile in Brisbane’s south, between January 15 and 26, 12 people were arrested including eight young people and four adults, on a total of 86 offences.

Across the three deployments 44 young people were diverted.

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

Since Taskforce Guardian commenced operations in May 2023, more than 826 young people have been arrested on 2,697 offences with 351 diverted from the youth justice system.

Most offences were related to property crime including stolen vehicles and break ins, along with bail compliance.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Massingham said the simultaneous support to regions demonstrated how effective the borderless nature of Taskforce Guardian was.

“Having this rapid-response unit at our disposal allows us to saturate key areas and tailor assistance to local police for what each community needs, strengthening our capabilities to disrupt youth offending,” he said.

“During this deployment in Brisbane South, collaboration between the Taskforce and local detectives resulted in the swift arrest of three serious recidivist youth offenders.

“Thorough objections to bail were provided and these three young people remain remanded in custody.

“Local police work tirelessly day and night to locate and arrest offenders and the Taskforce aims to support their efforts with extra boots on the ground.

“Taskforce Guardian is just one example of how police are working for the community, by taking proactive action to arrest those serious offenders who put community safety at risk.

“We have a raft of proactive enforcement, engagement and prevention strategies happening in communities across the state to prevent at-risk young people from committing offences, to investigate and hold perpetrators to account, seek justice for victims and to be a high visibility presence in communities to keep the public safe.”

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Power restored to 66,000 customers after Cyclone Kirrily and Donations help Angels share love of learning.

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