A dedicated Queensland police taskforce, specifically targeting high-risk youth offenders, has reported more than 1,000 arrests over more than 50 deployments across the state since May 2023. 

Their efforts have resulted in a total of 1,114 people on 3,465 charges, which includes almost a thousand young people on more than 3,000 offences and more than 140 adults on over 300 charges.

In late February, the taskforce wrapped up deployments in Townsville, Cairns and South Brisbane.

During their time in Cairns, the team arrested 46 people on 118 offences from 19 to 25 February, the sixth deployment to the region. This included 43 young people on 102 charges and three adults on 16 charges.

In Brisbane’s south they targeted recidivist property offenders, arresting four young people on 16 offences and assisted South Brisbane District with a further 93 offences between 12 and 23 February. Three adults on 15 offences were also apprehended during the Brisbane deployment.

The Taskforce also concluded a lengthier, two-month deployment to Townsville, from 3 January to 25 February, where almost 140 people were arrested on 412 charges. This included 12 adults on 27 charges and 128 young people on 385 charges, most of which were property crime or bail offences.

Taskforce Guardian, which consists of dedicated Queensland Police Service specialist investigators and expert Youth Justice workers, works alongside local police to disrupt, investigate and prevent youth offending to enhance community safety.

Once on the ground, the taskforce saturates problem-areas and bolsters local police with additional resources to tackle youth offending.

Taskforce Guardian also works closely with key support services and local resources to connect at-risk youth with health, education, disability services, and First Nations initiatives.

Queensland Minister for Police, Mark Ryan, said that the combined expertise of Guardian with local police allows officers to saturate hot spot areas and target recidivist offenders and for youth workers to engage with young people.

“I commend police and their partners for their dedication in not only arresting young offenders who put the community at risk, but continually working to engage young people and divert them away from a life of crime,” Minister Ryan said. 

“We can assure all Queenslanders that their safety will always be the priority, and that these efforts to address youth crime are continuing at full force.”

Queensland Police Service Acting Assistant Commissioner, Andrew Massingham, said that Taskforce Guardian has been instrumental in assisting local police to not only arrest youth offenders, but also divert youths away from offending and provide referrals to appropriate support services.

“One thousand arrests state-wide is just the beginning for the taskforce and the job is far from over,” Mr Massingham said. 

“As long as there continues to be youth offending, we will continue to provide unwavering support to the community.”

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