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13 June, 2022

Ready to hit the beat

AS crime remains a major concern for Tablelanders, the men and women in blue have received much-needed reinforcements, welcoming five newly-graduated Constables into their ranks.

By Rhys Thomas

Five fresh faces have bolstered the police presence across the region as crime continues to be a major issue. The new officers will be stationed at Mareeba, Atherton and Kuranda.

The new officers, who had their first day on the job last week, will be based at Mareeba, Atherton and Kuranda as part of the Tablelands Patrol Group. 

Crime continues to be a daily reality for residents, with Queensland Police latest crime figures showing that over the past six months, 1241 offences have been recorded in Mareeba and 628 offences in Atherton. 

This averages out to 52 offences per week in Mareeba and 26 offences per week in Atherton. Fresh off the line and ready to do their duty, Constables Mitchell Patterson and Annaleis Bowers from Cairns have been assigned to the Mareeba station, Symon Craig from Cairns and Troy Metclaf from Mareeba to the Atherton station, and Luke George originally from the UK will be stationed in Kuranda.

While the officers may be based at the Mareeba, Atherton and Kuranda stations, they will still get chances to experience firsthand different situations across the wider Tableland region. 

Tablelands Patrol Group officer-in-charge of education and training, Paula Byrne, said it was amazing to have new officers on the job and eager to assist their community. 

ON THE JOB: New Constables Symon Craig, Luke George, Troy Metclaf, Mitchell Patterson and Annaleis Bowers are excited to be working with the Tablelands community.

“It is a great boost, we have got fresh young people who are really interested in progressing their career and they are all sort of local,” she said. 

“They will be here for a few years doing on the job training and have opportunities to relieve in specialist areas.

“The beauty of being on the Atherton Tablelands is they become very involved with the community and they can do a job from start to finish. 

“They get to work hand in hand with our detectives, highway patrol officers, juvenile crime officers, and prosecutors, so they get a really good grounding in what policing is all about. 

“Having said that they also get to take part in community initiatives and get to see the good side of the Tablelands.” 

It has always been a dream for many of the incoming Constables to don the uniform and help protect their community. 

“I’ve wanted to do it my whole life and support the community where I can,” Const. Patterson said. 

“I’ve always wanted to be a police officer and just to do my little part in the community and help where I can,” Const. Metclaf added. 

Const. Bowers knew she wanted to be a police officer when she was 16 years old and from then, has set out to accomplish her dream. 

“It has always been a dream since I was 16 and I just want to give back to the community, be involved and do my part,” she said. 

While Const. Craig may be longer in the tooth than his graduating peers, he believes the skills he has acquired throughout his life will be helpful in his new career. 

“I wanted to become a police officer because I have quite a life behind me and I have got a bunch of skills which I think would be applicable to becoming a police officer and make a difference to the community,” he said. 

With a family bloodline steeped in service, UK-born Const. George feels he is doing his part and honouring his family’s history of protecting and serving by wearing an Australian police uniform. 

“As cliché as it sounds, I have always wanted to be about the community and helping people and my family back home, they were in the police as well,” he said.

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