CRIME: Police Minister Mark Ryan, Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon and Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham addressed community safety concerns at a press conference in Murgon on July 9.
CRIME: Police Minister Mark Ryan, Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon and Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham addressed community safety concerns at a press conference in Murgon on July 9. Michael Nolan

Attack on police officer 'random, not targeted'

QUEENSLAND'S police minster has said the violent home invasions in Murgon last weekend were not targeted.

Mark Ryan said further police resources were immediately deployed to the area over the weekend after the Murgon police prosecutor was assaulted with a brick while he slept during the home invasion on Sunday, October 21.

"I am advised initial investigations indicate the incidents on the weekend were random and not targeted," he said.

The 54-year-old man sustained a laceration to his head and is in Toowoomba Hospital for treatment following the attack.

Murgon Det Sgt Martin Hunter said it was happy days at the station, with the majority of the offences resolved. 

Investigations have revealed there was no information to suggest it was a targeted attack against a police officer. 

"It was a simple case of an offender wanting to take possession of a motor vehicle," Det Sgt Hunter said. 

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with numerous offences as part of the ongoing investigation, and his court hearing was adjourned on Monday, October 22.

His bail application was refused, and he will be remanded in custody until Murgon Children's Court on October 31.

Det Sgt Hunter said one teenager was involved in that particular home invasion, however a group of teenagers were involved in other offences that night. 

The Courier Mail reported a group of teens allegedly also broke into the homes of a local school teacher and a lawyer, stealing the lawyer's car during the early hours of Sunday morning.

A full review of safety and security measures at police residences has been called for across the state, following the Murgon attack.

"For anyone in the community to be attacked in their home is an outrage," Mr Ryan said.

Queensland Police Union has called for a full security audit for all police housing to be carried out immediately.

President Ian Leavers said he had advocated for several years for a proactive response to police housing.

"As police our job is to keep others safe, however if police and public servants in communities such as Murgon and Cherbourg cannot be safe in their beds and homes at night, then no-one in these communities are safe," he said.

Mr Leavers said enough was enough.

"We can tolerate many things as police, however when three thugs can sneak into your house, provided by the Queensland Police Service, in the middle of the night while you are asleep and hit you in the head with a brick, that in my view, is akin to attempted murder of a police officer," he said.

The union have called an urgent meeting with the assistant police commissioner, who is newly responsible for police housing.

"I thank the assistant commissioner for his immediate intervention to ensure that security of this particular police house in Murgon is upgraded to the highest standard that the officer wants," Mr Leavers said.

"It just begs belief that we constantly have to be reactionary and wait until an incident occurs before something is done."

In July, Queensland Police appointed an acting inspector and a tactical crime squad to Murgon and Cherbourg to curb the rising crime rates in the area.

"The introduction of additional policing resources to the Cherbourg and Murgon communities since July 2018 has had a positive impact on addressing crime in the community," Police minister Mark Ryan said.

The Murgon PCYC receives wide support and works collaboratively with the Cherbourg Sports and Recreation Centre on a variety of programs.

"Police continue to work with all stakeholders towards providing a safer community," he said.

The Southern region employees a borderless policing philosophy and numerous other policing units supports the Murgon and Cherbourg communities.

These include the Drug Dog Detection Unit, State Crime Command, Kingaroy Detectives, Road Policing Units from Kingaroy and Gympie, Roadside Drug Testing Unit and Tactical Crime Units from Darling Downs, Moreton and Ipswich.

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