Major police training failure highlights need for driver education precinct
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson has condemned the State Labor Government for fast-tracking the graduation of 38 police officers who weren’t taught to drive under lights and sirens, urging it to fund a Townsville driver education precinct.
The State Government made the decision to reduce the length of training of recruits at the Townsville Police Academy to boost numbers needed for the COVID-19 response, but reports have emerged one of the aspects of training that was largely left out was urgent duty driving because of the requirement to send officers to Brisbane to undertake it.
Mr Thompson said it was a ridiculous situation which once again showed the State Labor Government was out of touch.
“Whenever the community quite rightly complains about Townsville’s crime problem, the only thing the State Labor MPs hang their hats on is the number of new police they have funnelled into the force. Now we find out they’re not even properly equipped to do the job,” he said.
“What’s the use of extra police on the beat if they’re not able to urgently respond to a crime that’s currently underway or a traffic accident where someone is in desperate need of help?
“This could prove to be a very dangerous situation. It’s only a matter of time until someone is hurt or dies because a crew was too slow to respond – not by any fault of their own, but the system that put them in that situation.”
Mr Thompson said it was a prime example of the need for a driver education precinct in the region.
“The Queensland Police Service says travel restrictions forced its hand because it didn’t want to risk sending officers to Brisbane for the required training,” Mr Thompson said.
“This proves the need for a custom-built and designed driver education precinct in Townsville where recruits at the Townsville Police Academy can safely learn how to control their vehicles on the way to an emergency.
“That is exactly the kind of training that DriveIt NQ wants to offer at its proposed facility but unfortunately the State Labor Government is refusing to come to the party with the funding needed.
“The Federal Government has already committed $12-million for the project – it’s time for the State to step up and contribute to see it through to fruition.”