A blitz on property crime has seen police in Cairns arrest more than 500 people and lay more than 700 charges since early January.
Chief Superintendent Brian Huxley said the Greater Cairns Taskforce – which was launched on January 5 – had put a dent in property crime, with reductions seen right across the area.
“The taskforce consisted of 35 officers drawn predominantly from Edmonton, Cairns and Smithfield police stations,” Chief Superintendent Huxley said.
“The objective of the taskforce was to prevent crime and target those areas where crime was occurring.
“Initially I believed the taskforce would operate for a month or two, however it has gone for two months and now come to a successful conclusion.”
For the period from January 5 to February 28, figures showed there has been an overall 13 per cent reduction in property crime in the greater Cairns area, with a significant reduction of 26 per cent in Edmonton and a 25 per cent reduction in the Smithfield areas.
The Property Crime Squad saw a 39 per cent increase in arrests for property related crime since the introduction of the taskforce.
Cairns Police Station Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Kev Gleeson was the taskforce team leader and said he was pleased with its overall success.
“I believe the greatest factor in our success was the dedication, professionalism and commitment of the officers involved,” Senior Sergeant Gleeson said.
“Since the commencement of the taskforce we’ve had a significant impact on property crime and our role was to not only detect offences but to interrupt and disrupt crime throughout the greater Cairns area which encompassed the Cairns, Edmonton and Smithfield divisions.
“The taskforce has been responsible for 503 arrests with in excess of 730 charges preferred for a variety of offences including property crime, good order, drug, traffic and domestic violence offences.
“Our officers have been involved in everything with the aim of disrupting crime, with significant results.
“They did a tremendous job and whilst these figures might not mean much to a person who has had their home broken into or their car stolen, it does show we have had a significant impact on crime.
“I am very confident in our members – they are committed to working hard for our community in an effort to disrupt and detect crime.”
Chief Superintendent Huxley has assured members of the community that local police will continue to target criminal activity and sent a clear message, advising the community that whilst this taskforce has now ended, another is about to begin.