THE Queensland Police Service is looking for accommodation to house more police at Russell Island but it is not clear when extra officers will arrive.
Locals have been campaigning for more police and ramped up calls after a teenager died on the island’s main thoroughfare four years ago.
Redlands MP Kim Richards, who spoke on behalf of Police Minister Mark Ryan, said QPS had finished a review of policing needs for the island, with funding allocated to boost officer numbers there.
“The Queensland Police Service advises that it has undertaken a review of the policing needs for Russell Island,” she said.
“The QPS has allocated funding and is in the process of securing suitable accommodation to facilitate an increase in staff numbers.”
Russell Island has been manned by two officers since 2011, with one on-call for after-hours incidents.
Last year, Coroner John Hutton found police numbers at the island to be inadequate, agreeing with recommendations made by former Russell Island station Officer In Charge Sergeant Graham Staib for the island to have four permanent officers.
Mr Hutton had conducted a coronial inquiry into the death of 14-year-old Ethan Stephenson, who was fatally injured in 2014 after being hit on Centre Road by a speeding and defective four-wheel-drive driven by an intoxicated man.
Sergeant Staib was the only officer on-duty at the time.
Mr Hutton said he believed police numbers needed to be boosted, despite police saying only that they would review staffing.
“My view remains that the current police numbers on Russell
Island are inadequate to keep up with demand,” Mr Hutton said.
“Police numbers should be
increased to assist with enforcement activities involving speeding, and
drink and drug driving.”
Last month, Opposition police spokesman Trevor Watts called for the state government to implement Mr Hutton’s recommendations for more police, saying undue stress was being put on island officers.
Russell Island police in October responded to incidents including burglaries, a break-in, car and boat steals and three domestic violence reports, with several motorists nabbed by Capalaba road policing unit crew there for traffic enforcement.
Ms Richards said she expected police would implement a new operational model for Russell Island later this year but could not say when extra police would arrive.
QPS has been contacted for comment.