Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson
Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson Steve Gray

New crime squad for Gold Coast

GOLD Coast will get its own serious and violent crime squad to support detectives in the South Eastern Region.

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said the decision to create a violent-crime task force, made up of 18 detectives, was in response to the spike in armed robberies in the region.

“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,” Commissioner Atkinson said.

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

The move comes after the death of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding, who was shot in the head when he responded to an armed robbery at Pacific Pines Tavern on Sunday.

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

The state opposition welcomed the decision, but labelled the decision a “back-flip” on past decision from the government to not having a special crime unit on the Gold Coast.