On Tuesday, 1 May 2012, Dickson residents voiced their concerns about crime and light sentences and showed strong support for local police.
The Dickson Crime Forum was hosted by the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Federal Member for Dickson together with Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection Michael Keenan.
Senior local police in attendance were led by Acting Superintendent Lee Jeffries, who joined Mr Dutton and Mr Keenan on a panel to answer community questions.
Many residents commented on their respect for the difficult job of police and concerns about police being assaulted.
Sadly, less than half an hour after the forum at the Strathpine Community Centre, two Pine Rivers detectives were injured down the road at Lawnton, when hit by a stolen car during an attempted arrest.
The event served as a reminder of the risks to police and the ability of crime initiated in other areas to effect local suburbs. The vehicle was believed to be stolen from the Gold Coast Hinterland. The suspicious death of a woman at Strathpine yesterday highlighted the ability of crime to suddenly impact on the community.
Residents were particularly concerned about light sentencing by courts after police had done the hard work taking criminals off the streets.
Mr Dutton, has a record of fighting crime as a former police officer and campaigning for justice for victims of crime. He reaffirmed his commitment to fighting crime with local State MPs and Premier Campbell Newman.
“I will stand with Campbell Newman and his local state team, in their fight against crime. Tougher sentencing will make a difference. That difference won’t happen without the appointment of Magistrates and Judges who understand community demands for serious crime to result in seriously tough sentences,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Keenan highlighted reduced customs inspections of cargo as increasing the risk of importation of guns and drugs. Mr Keenan said that a future Coalition Government would strengthen our borders to thereby reduce the flow of guns and drugs to local communities. Mr Keenan also highlighted that the Coalition would toughen proceeds of crime measures concerning unexplained wealth.
“Taking money off criminals is a huge disincentive to serious organised crime. We’re on the side of ordinary Australians. We will protect the community and victims. It’s reasonable for someone who supposedly earns $40,000 a year to explain why they have a mansion and a Ferrari,” Mr Keenan said.
New local State MPs also participated. Seath Holswich MP - State Member for Pine Rivers, chaired the forum and said, “Keeping crime out of Pine Rivers will continue to be an important priority for my role.”
Trevor Ruthenberg MP, State Member for Kallangur, reflected on the good work of police, “This is a low crime area. We need to acknowledge and continue to support the hard work and dedication that achieves these results.”
Reg Gulley MP – State Member for Murrumba, aired his concerns for victims, “It’s not just about crime stats. Even in low crime areas, if your family is the one touched by crime it can be devastating.”
Dale Shuttleworth MP – State Member for Ferny Grove, committed himself to the fight against crime and commented, “I know the Premier and the Police Minister, understand crime issues in Queensland and will act with us to make our communities safer.”