The newly formed Taskforce Guardian of the Queensland Police Service, with its training headquarters in Oxley, marks a substantial stride in addressing high-risk youth offences.
Taskforce Guardian, a rapid response unit comprising dedicated Queensland Police Service detectives and expert Youth Justice workers, has been operational since May 2023. The taskforce’s unique composition allows for a comprehensive approach to youth crime, combining the expertise of seasoned law enforcement with the nuanced understanding of youth justice.
Since its inception, Taskforce Guardian has completed 21 deployments across Queensland. These strategic operations have led to more than 400 young people being arrested, charged with a total of 1,269 offences. The offences primarily include property crimes and bail matters, with specific counts involving unlawful use of motor vehicles, break and enters, bail breaches, and robbery.
The taskforce’s latest operation in Brisbane’s south resulted in the arrest of 13 young people on 101 charges. This 12-day operation is part of a broader, ongoing effort to curb youth crime. Similar deployments in Mount Isa, Logan, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, and Toowoomba have ensured a high-visibility police presence in key locations.
Deputy Commissioner of Regional Operations and Youth Crime, Shane Chelepy, expressed satisfaction with the taskforce’s results. He highlighted the importance of combining local police efforts with Taskforce Guardian’s expertise to target recidivist offenders and engage at-risk youth effectively.
Taskforce Guardian’s strategy extends beyond arrests and charges. The taskforce collaborates with key support services and local resources to engage at-risk youth in various programs. These programs focus on health, education, disability services, and First Nations initiatives, offering a more comprehensive approach to youth crime prevention.
Looking ahead, Taskforce Guardian is expected to continue its operations across various Queensland locations. The Queensland Police Service remains committed to tackling youth crime from all angles, ensuring community safety through proactive and targeted measures.