Serious crime squad for Gold Coast

THE Gold Coast will finally have a dedicated crime squad focused solely on armed robberies.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson made the announcement at Surfers Paradise today.

Commissioner Atkinson said that Taskforce Resolve, made up of 18 Detectives drawn from State Crime Operations Command and the South Eastern Region would provide specialist support to investigate and prevent serious and violent crime.

"The Queensland Police Service has always recognised that South Eastern Region is the busiest police region in the State, and this is reflected statistically in the allocation of police resources to the region over the past decade.

"The region has consistently received a share of police staffing that reflects the workload and population growth.

"Project Abeo, a review of Detectives in the Gold Coast District, undertaken last year prior to the creation of the Coomera District, recommended an increase of staff in coming years to bolster existing resources.

"I received the report in July last year, and provided 14 additional detectives. These detectives formed a part of an overall staffing increase for the region of 45 additional police last year.

"While statistics show that armed robberies have fallen state-wide over the past 15 years, the pattern for the South Eastern Region has fluctuated with a spike in recent months.

"Consequently, today, I have provided to Assistant Commissioner Wilson 15 detectives from State Crime Operatons Command, to be joined by three detectives from South Eastern Region.

"They will form Taskforce Resolve, and will operate out of Regional Police Headquarters at Surfers Paradise with a priority of bolstering local investigations into the most serious violent unsolved crimes.

"While originally Taskforce Resolve will consist of detectives taken from other areas, it will become permanent as increases in staffing allow people to be permanently assigned to the new taskforce.

"The Taskforce will commence work in next week to focus on the worst of the South Eastern Region's violent offenders,'' Commissioner Atkinson said.

Today's announcement comes just days after the death of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding.

Det Sen-Constable Leeding died in hospital this week after he was shot in the face at Pacific Pines on Sunday night while responding to reports of an armed hold-up.

Three people have been charged with murder and remain in police custody.

Last month, LNP leader Campbell Newman promised to establish an armed robbery squad on the Gold Coast should he be elected at the next State election.

Speaking on the Gold Coast this week, Mr Newman reiterated the promise and pledged to do whatever he could to protect police officers.

The push for more police on the Gold Coast has been growing following a spate of armed robberies across the city this year.

LNP Shadow Minister for Police John-Paul Langbroek said Labor had finally bowed to public pressure.

'`This backflip is welcome, but it's taken a spate of armed and violent robberies and a groundswell of community anger to force the Premier and the Minister to finally act,'' he said.