Gympie Police Station, Channon Street, Gympie.
Gympie Police Station, Channon Street, Gympie.

QPS rejects claim stress has decimated Gympie police numbers

CLAIMS the Gympie Police Station was running at half strength due significantly to stress leave were rejected by the Queensland Police Service yesterday.

A QPS spokesman said, in fact, the Gympie police division had more police officers than it warranted.

A Gympie resident who asked to remain anonymous and who is close to a number of local police said as many as 12 officers were currently on stress leave and another six to eight were off on other types of leave, leaving the station at about half strength.

"There are approximately 15,000 Queensland Police Service sworn and unsworn members spread across 15 policing districts and multiple specialist policing commands," the spokesman said.

"While staffing figures will fluctuate from time to time, the QPS has sufficient staff and resources to deliver professional policing services to all Wide Bay and Burnett residents and visitors.

"As at January 22, 2020 Human Resource records show the police headcount in the Gympie Division was 46 officers, seven more officers than the approved strength of the station, which is 39 officers."

The QPS regularly reviews population growth, crime trends and service delivery requirements to ensure a fair and equitable policing service is provided throughout Queensland, the spokesman said.

"Stations are supported by a number of operational District resources including officers within the Tactical Crime Squad.

"Importantly, all stations within the District are also supported by specialist police functions which include officers in the Road Policing Command, Communications, Dog Squad, Water Police, Counter Terrorism and Major Events, Missing Persons Unit, Homicide Investigation Unit, Drug Squad and Disaster Management.

"Whilst a significant number of officers in these speciality roles are based in the District, they are not captured in the District headcount as they are assigned to a police command."

The Queensland Police Union has also been contacted for comment on the claims but had not responded at time of publishing.