A Queensland police firearms unit has been accused of having a “game changers” plan to “drive up traffic”, in a bid to “change the face of the community” in the city.
Key points:Police have been accused in the past of not keeping up with demand for firearms in the communityPolice have also been accused for failing to keep up with the “new and evolving threat” to the community from firearmsThe plan was put to a meeting of the police union in May and was “lauded” by police union president, Michael ThrasherThe Queensland Police Association said its members had expressed concerns about the plan, but the union has said it was not involved in the decision to move to a system of “high-capacity firearms” for police.
The Queensland Government has been under pressure from police unions and community groups in recent months over the rate of gun ownership and the potential to see a spike in crime, and has pledged to introduce tougher restrictions on gun ownership.
Queensland Police Association president Michael Thraher said the proposed plan was “not a good look”.
“There is an expectation that if they get this out of the way, that they can get the guns, and that is not going to happen,” he said.
“This is a game changer and a game changing plan.”
I’m disappointed in the police and their inability to get the numbers up, but that is what happens when you do the business of policing.
“Police said the new system would be a “major change” in how the department operates, but have not set a target date for the rollout.
Queenland Police’s Chief Commissioner, Detective Inspector Michael Bowers, said it would not be an easy rollout.”
It is a big change and we’re going to have to work very hard to get it right,” he told 7.30.”
We need to ensure the right people get it done, that it is done properly, and I would hope the public understands that.
“That is the challenge we’re facing.”‘
Not the time for talking’The plan to introduce high-capacity guns, which would be similar to the existing system, was put forward by the Police Service of Queensland in May.
Mr Thrashers said the proposal was a “no brainer”.
“I think it’s just a matter of the people getting behind the plan and getting it right and we’ve done that,” he added.
“What the police are doing is the right thing.”
The proposed high-speed gun system, which is expected to cost $25 million to build, would see police use their cars and trucks to track and identify potential targets for a range of weapons, from a firearm to knives.
“There’s a lot of people in the world that can carry a knife, but not a handgun,” Mr Thrasers said.”[They] can’t have that weapon in their pocket, in their car or on their hip.”
Police already have a system that allows officers to “shoot, run and hide” when they see a firearm, and officers could be expected to take part in the plan too.
“The way we do things in Queensland is we don’t have any other option than to shoot, run, hide and the people we go to are trained to do that,” Detective Inspector Thrashes said.
He said the plan was a step in the right direction, and would allow the police to “go beyond the box” and be more proactive in their policing.
“As you can see from the past year or so, we’ve seen a lot more gun-related violence, particularly from the anti-social element,” he explained.
“So that’s something we’re trying to do.”
Mr Threshers said he believed “this is a good start”.
“We’ve got a lot to learn from this, and we can do it by doing it,” he warned.
“And hopefully the public will embrace that.”