Hooning and youth crime in shopping centres are among two of the biggest issues which police officers from the Moreton Prevention Unit have dealt with in the past year.
Since the unit was formed in February 2021, police officers have spent the past year educating, enforcing, and engaging with the community to make Moreton Bay safer for residents and visitors.
The unit is led by Senior Sergeant Ron Budrodeen and a team of officers who come together to focus on issues affecting the region.
“The Moreton Prevention Unit is a combination of several different units together which includes Prevention Operations, Community Engagement Teams, School Based Officers, the Youth Co-Responder Team and the District Crime Prevention Co-ordinators,” Senior Sergeant Budrodeen said.
“We also have enforcement operations at things like Random Breath Testing sites, as well as tracking down wanted people, perform hot spot crime patrols and public safety patrols.
“Even though we all have our own individual roles, we come together as one for a combination of enforcement, education and engagement.”
Senior Sergeant Budrodeen said hooning was an issue which the unit responded to frequently.
“The issue of hooning has been popping up regularly,” he said.
“We combine with the highway patrols to target those areas with enforcement and we will also do a combination of hot spot patrolling.
“Then we follow this up with education – talking about what offences have been committed, the penalties they will incur and the responsibility all motorists have on the road.
“We will also follow this up by engaging with the local community.”
Senior Sergeant Budrodeen also said youth crime in some shopping centres in areas like Deception Bay and North Lakes warranted hot spot patrols.
Here is a breakdown of what the Moreton Prevention Unit looks like:
Prevention is the first pillar in the Queensland Police Service’s vision statement: to prevent, disrupt, respond and investigate.
Prevention is working together to reduce harm, trauma and crime to enhance community safety.
The Prevention Unit provide a policing response to evidence-based interventions and community engagement which includes many different strategies to address the problems or type of engagement that is required.
Interventions are planned to address crime reduction, road safety, public order and wanted persons, to name a few. These interventions include enforcement as well as education and engagement.
For example, if there has been significant crime in a particular area you will see the prevention unit out and about door knocking, providing people with crime prevention ideas, support and prompting discussion about anything suspicious they may of seen, reporting methods and providing support to those impacted by crime.
They are also tasked to patrol active areas to locate offenders, gather intelligence and disrupt crime.
If a particular type of crime has been occurring the prevention team will provide education on that topic and advise local businesses what is happening.
Recently, jewellery stores in south east Queensland were being targeted for break and enter offences. In response, the Prevention Team advised local stores and provided them with strategies around security and reporting suspicious behaviour.
You will see officers from the Community Engagement Team at local events, like the recent Shiny Side Up event at Woodford where police were promoting road safety for motorcyclists.
Officers might also attend schools, sporting and Scout groups and spend some time with younger community members.
The Youth Co-responder Team aim to reduce unnecessary remand in custody and youth offending.
This team manage specific individuals, locations where youth congregate and/or offend, offer support to youth and their families to prevent offending or victimisation and work in collaboration with Youth Justice to reduce youth offending.
There are school-based officers currently at State High Schools in Bray Park, Morayfield, Clontarf, Redcliffe and Strathpine and one to be filled at Dakabin.
They provide support to the schools in student offending, liaise with the Youth Co-responder regarding at-risk youth, provide education to students on making better choices, drugs, road safety, healthy relationships and truancy.
They maintain relationships between collaborative stakeholders like Crimestoppers, local, state and federal government representatives, community support agencies, RSPCA, TMR to name just a few.
This includes events, campaigns and projects like the road safety campaigns, Live your life without a knife project, Turning the Screws on Crime, forestry driving and more.
They also manage the volunteers that participate in the Volunteer in Policing (VIP) program and the Neighbourhood Watch groups.