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Taskforce Guardian targeting young offenders results in 77 charges

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Fifty-four young people have been charged with 77 offences during Taskforce Guardian’s first deployment to the Sunshine Coast.

The rapid response team, which deployed to the Sunshine Coast from June 17-30, brought together specialist police and youth justice workers, targeting high-risk youth offenders and boosting community safety efforts.

A further 31 young people were diverted from the youth justice system as a result of the operation.

During the deployment, the taskforce engaged with young people over a range of serious offences including wilful damage, stealing, assault, possessing dangerous drugs, unlicensed driving and enter premises and commit.

The taskforce worked alongside expert knowledge from local frontline police to locate alleged young offenders, conduct bail compliance monitoring and proactive patrols in high-risk locations, including high-visibility foot patrols at public transport stations and shopping centres in Maroochydore and Caloundra.

Sunshine Coast Detective Inspector Chris Toohey said the deployment of Taskforce Guardian bolstered local efforts to ensure the safety of people on the Sunshine Coast.

“This has been a very successful deployment with specialist police working alongside local officers to engage with youth offenders or at-risk young people in our community,” Detective Inspector Toohey said.

“The additional resources on our frontline allowed officers to focus on targeted activities to disrupt and deter youth offending.

“The power of pairing police with youth justice workers means we have a well-rounded holistic approach, making arrests when necessary to protect the public, but also diverting young people from the youth justice system and working with key support services and local resources to engage them with relevant programs and services, focusing on health, education, disability services and First Nations initiatives.

“We welcome the extra boots on the ground and will continue high-visibility efforts to enhance community safety.”

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