March for more cops hits streets in SEQ city

A caravan on a footpath outside state housing where alleged drug deals take place, gangs of youths stealing cars and a hoon problem - all reasons for residents of a suburban community to take to the streets and March for More Cops.

All factors which forced a group of angry residents on to the streets on Sunday to protest about the lack of police resources allocated to Logan.

The march was organised after last week's state budget failed to allocate additional funding for more police.

Residents angry about spiralling crime in their suburbs said they wanted to send a clear message to local drug dealers - clean up your act or get out.

The mass rally through the streets of Bethania passed the doorsteps of known drug dealers.

Organiser Diana Howes said residents were fed up with car thefts, house break-ins and drug-fuelled hoons plaguing the streets at night.

A syringe found in the gutter during Sunday’s march through the streets of Bethania.
A syringe found in the gutter during Sunday’s march through the streets of Bethania.

 

"This was a protest to put the state government and the local council on notice that if they don't take action to stop crime in this area, they'll cop it at the ballot box next year," she said.

"There are houses in Bethania where drugs are given to minors to get them hooked.

"It's pretty easy to suck them in as there is nothing else for them to do here.

"We are the forgotten ratepayers."

Bethania mum Sharon, who did not want her surname printed, told of the heartbreak and sense of helplessness when her 15-year-old son "got mixed up" with a gang called 4114, named after the Woodridge postcode.

 

Bethania’s Harper Handley was one of the kids who joined the protest for safer streets.
Bethania’s Harper Handley was one of the kids who joined the protest for safer streets.

 

She said after her son was banned from a local high school, he was sent to a learning centre at Eagleby where he met up with other expelled kids.

"It started out because he was bored and banned from school and had nothing to do so fell in with the wrong crowd," she said.

"The gang just meets up at a place in Woodridge where the kids are given samples of meth if they want it.

"Then they all go out and do home invasions and steal cars.

"The worst part is that the police know about what's happening but catching the kids can often create more problems."

She said her son had been charged with offences and was sent to complete a day course at a special school at Kuraby.

She branded it as ineffectual and said the learning centre at Eagleby was also a hub of lawlessness.

 

 

Marchers with their placards on Sunday at Bethania.
Marchers with their placards on Sunday at Bethania.

 

But the residents were not just protesting over youth gangs.

Others said they were tired of the crime rate.

On Friday, about 3am the IGA at Loganholme on Drews Rd was broken into.

Cash was taken and an attempt was made to steal cigarettes but the thieves were thwarted by security measures at the cigarette counter.

Access to the store was gained via a security door at the rear near the loading dock.

Marchers on Sunday said they were speaking out in favour for shopkeepers whose businesses were constantly being attacked.

"I want a loud message sent out to the State government that Logan is tired of being neglected and marginalised," said Loganlea protester Dan Ling.

Mayoral hopeful John Freeman said he was proud to march to push for more police. "The council and our state representatives need to get out and start listening to the community," he said.

 

Mayoral candidate John Freeman was at the march on Sunday.
Mayoral candidate John Freeman was at the march on Sunday.

 

"Council's comment that there is no need for extra police only confirms council is not listening. People deserve to feel safe in their neighbourhoods without their children being tempted with drugs, hooning and other anti-social behaviour."

Logan police said they were working with a number of internal and external stakeholders to reduce youth recidivism in Logan.

They have introduced and are evolving a number of proactive and operational strategies to tackle youth crime and drugs.

Local school based police officers have introduced programs into high schools at Marsden, Woodridge, Kingston, Mable Park and Flagstone.

One program, Blue Edge includes police working with students for eight weeks cooking breakfast and collaborating in activities such as gymnasium and other sports.

 

BOOYAH BOYS, from left back Isaiah Amundsen, Vernon Warner-Saylor and Aiden Whatley with front Nicolas Bertoli, Eddie Murphy and Hayden Schocroft during a program graduation at the PCYC in Logan, in 2018. The boys graduated from a program designed to re-engage students and create pathways to school, further education or work. AAP/Jono Searle
BOOYAH BOYS, from left back Isaiah Amundsen, Vernon Warner-Saylor and Aiden Whatley with front Nicolas Bertoli, Eddie Murphy and Hayden Schocroft during a program graduation at the PCYC in Logan, in 2018. The boys graduated from a program designed to re-engage students and create pathways to school, further education or work. AAP/Jono Searle

 

Guest speakers attend the schools to empower students and help educate regarding positive choices in life.

Blue Light Discos and Project Booyah have also been introduced into schools in the district.

The Logan Child Protection and Investigation Unit also works closely with key stakeholders such as Youth Justice, Youth Off The Streets, PCYC, Youth and Family Services and other agencies.

Logan police have also collaborated with Logan City Council to launch the Youth Saver project as a safe city initiative to advertise diversion, support and engagement options for youth and families.

The Logan CPIU and Criminal Investigation Branch recently conducted operation Velodrome as a proactive way of addressing the drug ICE in the community.

This resulted in the seizure of ICE and other dangerous drugs.

The most up to data available on ice use dates back to 2016's National Drug Strategy Household Survey which found that 6.3 per cent or 1.3 million Australians over the age of 14 have used methylamphetamines.

Data from the Illicit Drug Reporting System also indicates that one third of their national sample of 910 people who inject drugs reported methylamphetamine, including ice, as their drug of choice.



Busy Lismore road to be closed for 12 weeks

premium_icon Busy Lismore road to be closed for 12 weeks

Caniaba Road to be closed for 12 weeks during earthworks

P-plater blames speed on being tailgated in roadworks zone

premium_icon P-plater blames speed on being tailgated in roadworks zone

Magistrate said he had "some sympathy” for people in roadworks areas

SEVERE FIRE DANGER: Total fire ban declared

SEVERE FIRE DANGER: Total fire ban declared

Total fire ban announced for entire region