Naked guns: Ipswich police stripped of body armour
THE LIVES of Ipswich police will be in mortal danger when 12 of their bullet proof vests are taken away today for use by officers working at the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane next month.
That is the fear of Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers, who said the protective body armour would not be returned until after the G20 is over.
But Tony Wright, assistant police commissioner for southern region, said the safety of police would not be compromised because over a third of police officers would be sent to the G20 and that there would be "more body armour on board than we need".
But Mr Leavers said the safety issue existed right now.
"With the leave embargo at the moment there would not be enough body armour to go around at this point of time," Mr Leavers said.
"I am concerned there won't be enough left for police on the ground in Ipswich now.
"Things happen in Ipswich and police should be protected."
Police from across the state will also be losing 10% of their station issue body armour to the G20 and Mr Leavers, a former Ipswich police officer, said that posed a safety risk for those officers left behind.
"But what we are going to see is the lives of Ipswich police put at risk.
"That is just unacceptable.
"If one police officer is hurt as a result that will fall directly down to the Commissioner (Ian Stewart) and the Premier (Campbell Newman).
"The Premier has said to me, and he has always been honest with me, that if the commissioner requests the extra funding for the equipment it will be given."
But Mr Wright insisted officers would not be at risk.
"We are sending over a third of our staff to the G20 but we only sending 10% of our body armour, so most of the body armour is remaining within the Ipswich district," he said.
"We always have more body armour on board that we need.
"So it is really not creating any issue for us at all.
"There would be no way that we would compromise the safety of our staff, whether it be the G20 or of the staff remaining."
Mr Leavers said senior police management should be pushing the issue of extra funding for equipment with their superiors.