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QPS reviews safety of single officer stations

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart Gen Kennedy

POLICE are looking at introducing changes to ensure officers in regional and rural areas are not working alone.

Following the stabbing of two officers in Victoria and the subsequent shooting of a suspected terrorist, Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said he and police unions would look into how to best keep Queensland police officers safe.

"We have a range of officers who work by themselves," he said. "We think it's prudent, particularly in the short and medium term, to look at how we operate in those areas."

Mr Stewart said reviewing stations in rural areas where one officer worked alone would be reviewed in the longer term rather than immediately.

"They're used to working by themselves and they're used to taking precautions so I think the main thing is we, we've just got to be careful we do everything we possibly can that is reasonable and we will do that," he said.

"Some things just won't be possible in the short term but perhaps in the long term we will look at how we are operating in those areas."

Police officers are also able to apply to be able to carry their guns home. Mr Stewart said applications would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

He also stressed there was no specific threat to police officers, other than the general statement from an ISIS spokesman at the weekend.

Straight after Wednesday night's shooting in Victoria, Queensland police started patrolling mosques to ensure the Muslim community was safe.

The police service has also secured funding to employ an extra four Muslim police liaison officers. This will bring the state's total liaison officers of Muslim faith to seven.

Earlier Tuesday, before the shooting took place, Mr Stewart was questioned about the potential terrorism threat.

"To say that I was disturbed is an understatement," he said about hearing the news of the shooting.

"(On Tuesday)… I said that there is a risk there, I would hope it doesn't happen in our community and last night it did. It happened in Australia. We're lucky we are very fortunate it wasn't a greater tragedy."

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  editors picks qps regional rural terrorism



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