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3 November, 2021

Calls for more action on crime

Desperate to take control to prevent and help solve the spate of crimes in the local district, a crowd of about 70 residents gathered outside the Oakey Police Station last Friday to hear what more can be done to keep elderly and vulnerable residents safe.

Acting Inspector Fiona Hinshelwood and Sergeant John Cook talk to concerned residents at a public meeting outside the Oakey Police Station on Friday.

Acting Inspector Darling Downs Fiona Hinshelwood joined Oakey Police Officer-in-Charge Sergeant John Cook to answer questions from the crowd. 

Acting Inspector Hinshel-wood said detectives and the local police have been working hard over the past few weeks to make arrests in relation to the current crime spike.

“I understand that a lot of people are concerned about the elderly in this town,” she said.

“In the past couple of weeks the detectives have been working very hard. 

“They have dealt with seven offenders in relation to offences in Oakey and the have laid over 100 charges.

“A single offender can cause a great amount of damage in a small town, they can do up to ten break and enters in a night.”

Acting Inspector Hinshel-wood said most of the offenders are juvenile which influences how police handle the incidents.

She said police have been using actions, such as cautions, bail and curfews as well as custody to “turn around” offenders.

“With youth justice we have got to give the kids an opportunity to see the rights of their ways,” she said.

A parent of a local offender said he is struggling to deal with the behaviour of his son. 

“[He] is going around with other groups, other boys. He is not the only one,” the father said.

"I am trying my best to discipline him. But remember I can’t keep an eye on him 24 hours a day, I have a job to do that I wake up at 4am. I have other kids to look after. If we can, we can all work together.”

Event organiser Dean Gillis said the rally was not about blaming the police but finding solutions.

"We [were] not here to blame anyone but we want things changed. We want cameras in the main street, if we can do curfews, we are looking are lighting in the parks, tougher penalties, stuff like that,” he said.

Mr Gillis said there is a petition people can sign at:

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