Violent assault rate sky-rockets across Sunshine Coast
SUNSHINE Coast residents have taken to settling feuds with their fists, with the rate of assaults sky-rocketing across the region.
Assaults, ranging from minor through to serious and grievous bodily harm incidents, from the start of July have jumped 26% compared to the same time last year.
In barely seven weeks there have been 107 assaults across the region, from July 1-August 22, compared to just 85 in the same time period last year.
The rise in violence has been echoed across the Capricornia region, and it has been a region-wide issue on the Sunshine Coast, which is spreading into suburbia.
The bruising behaviours have surprised police, who have been left struggling to work out ways for the anti-violence message to sink in.
"People are just belting each other left, right and centre and they don't care," Det Actg Insp Edwards said.
"People are getting charged (with offences), but they just don't seem to be stopping."
The Coast's top detective said it was clear many were unconcerned about the consequences, not fearful of any significant punishment, and ignorant of the one punch can kill warnings.
He said a one-punch attack in Noosa, which could "easily" have been a death, was among the numerous serious assaults included in the alarming figures.
Det Actg Insp Edwards said the region's safe night precincts, where a heightened police presence and other measures were in effect, were getting results.
"They're (safe night precincts) the minority of assaults," he said.
"Most of those reports aren't DV (domestic violence). They're not even road rage and not all nightclub areas either.
"People are just acting stupidly."
He said the violence was "across the board, all suburbs" in the region, and was involving "mostly younger people".
"It's mostly punching, on occasion there is a weapon involved," Det Actg Insp Edwards said.
He said incidents were happening any time of day, and woman on woman violence was also increasing.
Just this week they dealt with an assault where a man went to another man's home, knocked on his front door and then started punching the resident.
"That's their answer," Det Actg Insp Edwards said.
"There's not enough intelligence to take some kind of other action or to let it go.
"Everything they seem to be doing seems to be careless."
He said the serious assaults were adding pressure to hospital emergency departments and stretching police resources with investigations to be carried out.
Former Olympic boxer Brad Hore has been campaigning to end violence through his 'Keep Your Hands To Yourself' campaign.
He was alarmed by the spike in assaults, and said he felt there was a general lack of respect these days from younger generations.
"I just look at it and it's all respect," he said.
"No one's scared of anything these days."
He said the increase in assaults was "not good" for younger generations and he urged people to think in different ways, to avoid violence as a way of resolving disputes.
He and his partner, Ange, were continuing to push for grants to take their program around to school kids, to help lower the rate of violent assaults.