Nearly 1500 extra police will be on the beat in Queensland after the state government unveiled $624 million in funding for the force.
Police Minister Mark Ryan says 2025 police personnel, including 1450 frontline officers, will be deployed over the next five years. There are currently about 12,000 officers across the state.
The announcement comes as both the Labor government and the Liberal National Party opposition hone in on law and order issues in the lead-up to the October 31 state election.
"This is a big investment in policing, it's a big investment in community safety, and I know that the police commissioner in the police service will put those police in the right locations, to prevent crime to make our communities even safer," Mr Ryan said.
The government will locate 150 new police in key regions, 50 in child protection, 300 in communication, prosecutions and watch houses, 125 in liaisons and school-based support and another 100 staff to police support roles including wellbeing and injury management consultants.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll stressed that talks about ramping up numbers had been underway after a damning, independent review into police demand, rather than it being a sudden election announcement.
"It's certainly not something that is just being announced today, I can tell you after the work that we've been doing in the organisation, this has been happening for several months to get to this point," she said.
The review revealed calls to police surged almost 50 per cent in the four years to 2019 but the most frequent were not about crimes. Many calls instead related to social issues including mental health welfare checks and early interventions in domestic situations.
Between 2014/15 and 2018/19 there was a 10 per cent rise in reported crime, including a 24 per cent jump in crimes against people and a 28 per cent leap in property crime.
Over the same period, the number of resolved crimes fell seven per cent.
"Certainly my minister has listened to what we have asked for. I sincerely thank the government for this. It is quite extraordinary," Commissioner Carroll said.
The opposition already have pledged more officers in regions and tougher laws, claiming that crime is out of control and under Labor "the thin blue line has never been thinner".
Shadow police minister Dan Purdie called the government's announcement another "election eve con".
"Nobody is buying this announcement, especially five minutes before an election when their urgent calls for back-up have fallen on deaf ears for the last five years," he said.
The police commissioner urged the LNP to honour the Labor government's commitment if it wins government on October 31.
"I would hope that people would honour what we truly need and ask for, because it is difficult when the demand is high and we have challenges out there," Commissioner Carroll said.
So for any government I would ask that they please, you know, honour what we do ask for."
Australian Associated Press