A gang members outside a school.
A gang members outside a school.

Call for police at schools to stop teen crime wave

THE southern Gold Coast wants police officers to be based in schools to stop a shocking teen crime wave, but it is unlikely to happen.

The Bulletin can reveal that no new school-based police officers have been appointed since the Newman Government in 2012.

Data shows that of the 57 officers across the state, the Coast has only three, all in north at Southport State High, Robina State High and Upper Coomera State College.

Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey told Parliament the Coast in recent weeks had a bikie-linked shooting at Coolangatta, a violent carjacking at Helensvale and 12-year-old charged after an armed hold-up.

The youth armed with a 20cm knife told the attendant "Notes only, bitch" before escaping on a BMX bikie and burying $215 in the garden of his home.

Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey believes the youth crime wave “should be ringing alarm bells” for authorities.
Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey believes the youth crime wave “should be ringing alarm bells” for authorities.

The Government could stop the crime wave by appointing school-based police officers, which had the support of principals from both high schools and local police, she said.

"However, we all seem to have been given the run-around and told differing information," Ms Stuckey said.

"Last week my office was informed that no new school-based police officer positions have been committed to since 2012, that is, five years ago.

"In that time, we have witnessed a frightening escalation in youth crime. Given the very recent bomb hoax at Palm Beach Currumbin State High School, a school based police officer is warranted."

Ms Stuckey explained how early on May 3 an envelope containing white powder and a note was left at the school gate, twice sending the school into lockdown.

"Students were advised to stay home. During assembly, a message about a potential bomb was sent through Airdrop by someone in proximity," she said.

"It was discovered that a 13-year-old was responsible for sending the message but did not leave the envelope at the gate. That perpetrator was still being sought.

"There is nothing amusing about this cruel prank, especially in light of shocking terrorist attacks that have claimed innocent lives in numerous locations around the world."

Ms Stuckey said the hoax was designed to terrify an entire school community and wasted many hours of police, fire and rescue resources

Education Minister Kate Jones in responding to Ms Stuckey in a recent Question on Notice has explained that police officers were appointed to schools or a cluster of campuses to fulfil several roles.

Apart from promoting positive relationships between the school community and police, the officers developed crime prevention initiatives, attended to police-related matters and informed youths about the legal process.

An interdepartmental management committee which included representatives from QPS and Education Queensland recommended schools for inclusion in the school-based police officer program, she said.

The key issues considered included school population, social issues and other available youth support networks, Ms Jones added.

Enrolment data shows schools which have police can range from having 437 students at Charters Towers High School to 2810 at Kelvin Grove College in Brisbane.

The Coast has more than 70 Government schools with some campuses experiencing the biggest enrolments in the State.

"Both high schools (Elanora and Palm Beach Currumbin) uphold the highest standards and deserve this," Ms Stuckey said.

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