Thornlands halfway house drains police resources, says Redlands MP Matt McEachan

Redlands MP Matt McEachan.

Redlands MP Matt McEachan.

A HALFWAY house for bailed offenders on serious charges is draining Cleveland’s already-stretched police resources, says Redlands MP Matt McEachan.

Police visit the Thornlands facility about four times a week to check whether bail conditions are being met.

They are so concerned for their safety that when they go to the house, police usually go in groups of four.

Among the conditions are night curfews, which require police to check whether bailed offenders are in the facility, which leases space at Nazarene Theological College in Woodlands Drive.

In Parliament this week, Mr McEachan put a question on notice asking Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath how many at the Breaking Through Transitional Services facility had breached bail conditions, how many breaches involved people on bail for violent offences and what measures were in place to ensure public safety.

Ms D’Ath has 28 days to respond.

Mr McEachan said he had been referred to the police minister when he asked to meet with Ms D’Ath.

“This is not a police matter,” he said. “The police are doing an exceptional job of trying to manage this situation. It’s a judicial matter and needs to be rightly addressed.”

He said Ms D’Ath’s buck-passing was disrespectful.

Ms D’Ath said Mr McEachan seemed to be more interested in playing politics because he had not bothered to approach her at Parliament to discuss the issue. She said the Justice Department did not fund or control service providers.

“The community expects governments to address the serious problems associated with drug abuse and addiction,” she said. “Part of that response is ensuring necessary facilities are available in our communities to help treat those struggling to overcome addiction.”

In September, residents reported 13 break-ins, three cars stolen, a shooting and an attempted murder in the area in 18 months.

At that time, Detective Inspector Owen Elloy said scarce police resources had to be used at the facility. “It calls itself a rehab program … but it’s a halfway house for high-risk criminals in the middle of the Cleveland district,” he said.

Council, through the Local Government Association of Queensland, is also lobbying state government to look into planning regulations relating to such facilities.