Second helicopter for south-east to boost police resources

SOUTH East Queensland will have its second permanent police helicopter operating by July 2014, delivering on the Newman Government's commitment to have two helicopters for the region by 2015.

Acting Premier Jeff Seeney and Acting Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services John McVeigh announced the helicopter would be provided through a two-year partnership with Surf Life Saving Queensland.

Mr Seeney said the second helicopter would give police even greater capacity to combat crime in South East Queensland.

"The police chopper is just a part of our government's commitment to ensure police in the South East have the resources they need to tackle crime," he said.

"The helicopter will be based at Archerfield in Brisbane to service South East Queensland and will be deployed across Queensland if required.

"We look forward to continuing our partnerships with Surf Life Saving Queensland to help protect our communities in the South East and across the state."

Mr McVeigh said the Newman Government was taking action on reducing crime by revitalising the Queensland Police Service's frontline, which suffered major neglect under the previous Labor Government.

"At the last election we promised Queenslanders an additional 1,100 police officers over four years and we've already delivered more than 500 of those officers," he said.

"It's all part of ensuring more of our officers are on the beat, not behind desks.  With more police patrolling the streets and an extra pair of eyes in the sky, it will only make them safer."

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the police helicopter was an important tool in preventing, detecting and solving crime.

"It has proven valuable in performing a range of policing functions such as searching for offenders and missing persons, identifying drug crops and managing traffic and major events," Commissioner Stewart said.

"Deploying a second police helicopter within south-east Queensland will be a significant boost for policing in the area.

"Training of tactical flight officers to crew the second police helicopter has already started to ensure operations can begin as soon as possible."

Surf Life Saving Queensland chief operating officer George Hill said the organisation looked forward to building upon its working relationship with the Queensland Government and Queensland Police Service.

"For almost four decades, Surf Life Saving Queensland through its Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service has provided a crucial service to the community," Mr Hill said.

"This extended relationship with the Queensland Government continues to broaden our core service by providing for safer communities and saving lives across the state.

"Surf Lifesaving Queensland has worked with the police to operate its helicopter on the Gold Coast since 2012, and we remain committed to delivering a world-class aerial patrol and surveillance service for the Queensland community."



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