Increase means ‘police more active’ in region
THE NUMBER of criminals fronting up at Kingaroy Magistrates Court this year has increased dramatically.
An extra 145 defendants appeared compared to last year, with a total of 1261 charges heard by the magistrate and a further 343 charges heard in Kingaroy Children's Court.
Kingaroy Senior Sergeant Duane Frank said it had been a busy year, but the statistics were not all doom and gloom.
"You can say, well, there's more crime, there's more bad people in town. Or you could say local police are more actively seeking out people doing the wrong thing," Snr Sgt Frank said.
"The increase is read both ways."
Snr Sgt Frank said higher numbers of defendants were likely due to a string of successful operations targeting drug crimes.
"This could have come out from drug-related crime, where police are encouraging members of the community to come forward to police (with information), leading to search warrants.
"We get information from the community about drugs at places we may not be aware drug activity is occurring."
Snr Sgt Frank said the community's preparedness to come forward with tip-offs was also a by-product of the court system.
"If people are appearing in court charged with drug-related activities, it reinforces to the community (the need to come forward).
"We do still rely on the community to tell us about things happening in the community."
Kingaroy's court statistics could also have been bloated by an increase in traffic offences.
A South Burnett Road Policing Unit has been permanently based in Kingaroy this year and has specifically targeted traffic offenders.