Police from across the Sunshine Coast will today take part in new training to ensure they are well-placed to prevent and respond to threats of terrorism.
District Officer Superintendent Darryl Johnson said 20 local officers would take part in the Queensland Police Service’s Security and Counter-Terrorism Network (SCTN) training course – the first of its kind in Australia.
“While the National Terrorism Alert level remains at probable, there is no known specific threat to the Sunshine Coast or indeed anywhere in Queensland. That said, we have officers working around the clock conducting threat assessments with their federal counterparts,” Superintendent Johnson said.
“As part of this work to keep Queenslanders safe from the threat of terrorism, the QPS developed the SCTN comprising of special counter-terrorism training for local police in conjunction with external stakeholders including the Islamic Council of Queensland and the Australian Federal Police.
“Our frontline officers are the first point of contact with the community and it is vital that they are equipped with the knowledge, intelligence and resources they need to fulfil this important role in the network.”
Security and Counter-Terrorism Senior Sergeant John Kilburn said the network would give Sunshine Coast police guidance and assistance through training to enhance their existing counter-terrorism knowledge and experience.
“Counter-terrorism policing isn’t just about high profile operations – it’s about intelligence-led policing, strong community engagement and building positive relationships with all parts of the community,” Senior Sergeant Kilburn said.
“The SCTN ensures operational police are provided with a platform for improved community engagement, reporting, investigations and intelligence sharing by providing a coordinated platform to operate within.
“We have both proactive and reactive work to do, so it is important that this training highlights the important of engagement with the community, awareness of community groups and primarily focuses on prevention.”
Superintendent Johnson said local police would work hard to keep the Sunshine Coast safe.
“We are extremely lucky to have a rich diversity of cultures and faiths here on the Coast and it is important that we play a role in contributing to the social cohesion of our community and to help ensure young Queenslanders aren’t being marginalized – this is an important first step in the prevention of terrorism.”
25 senior officers will attend the four-day Security and Counter-Terrorism Network training on the Sunshine Coast from today, 2 February.
Media are invited to attend the Sunshine Coast District office for a vision opportunity.
District Officer Superintendent Darryl Johnson and the Security and Counter Terrorism Group’s Senior Sergeant John Kilburn will be available to speak to the media.
When: 10am, 2 February 2016
Where: Sunshine Coast District Office, 62 The Esplanade, Maroochydore
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.
For all non-urgent police reporting or general police inquiries contact Policelink on 131 444 or Policelink.qld.gov.au 24hrs a day.