Police Commissioner says crime situation is improving in Mount Isa

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has used a police management meeting in Mount Isa to say they were making good progress in dealing with crime in the region.

Commissioner Stewart and his executive leadership team of the top 25 police officers in the state held one of their regular strategic meeting in the city last week and met with local stakeholders and local police and discussed local issues including crime.

“We see these regional meetings as a very important aspect of our role to remind people that Queensland is a very big place and we need to show our leadership and our respect for all Queenslanders,” Commissioner Stewart said.

Commissioner Stewart said issues affecting the north west were front and centre on the agenda of the Mount Isa meeting.

“It’s very much about the local area, we get a report on the local area about how they are performing and also about the challenges they are facing,” he said.

Commissioner Stewart said he was pleased by the local report which found “crime was not being expanded” in Mount Isa and showed police were doing some really great work.

“The police are only one part of dealing with the crime issue in Mount Isa, “ he said.

“Our focus needs to be about prevention, it needs to be about diverting young people away from a life of crime but there are also other government agencies who need to be onvolved.”

Commissioner Stewart also implored parents to take an interest in what their children were doing.

“Give them good role models about what it means to be a good citizen, to be part of a society, to be valued and valuable,” he said.

He said police knew fewer children were now committing crime across Queensland but those who do commit crime often commit more offences.

“We are seeing in some places the numbers growing in terms of the actual number of crimes committed but the people who do it are becoming fewer,” he said.

“Now just knowing that doesn’t help the person who gets broken into or the person who is robbed on the street, but what it means is that we can focus our attention on those particular offenders much more carefully.”

Commissioner Stewart said policing was moving towards better understanding what those drivers are and what causes those children to become criminals.

“No one is born a criminal, no one is born bad,” he said.

“There are things that happen in their lives, particularly their early lives, that have have a huge impact, and if we can work out how we can better deal with those issues then we can stop young ones from becoming criminals before they get into that space.”

In Mount Isa that meant great support from intelligence officers, Police Liaison Officers reaching out to families and greater interest on those committing the bulk of the crime and making sure they don’t become role models for younger kids, he said.