Sickening new trend of train thugs
TEEN thugs harassing commuters on Gold Coast trains are also engaging in an activity that - chillingly - they call "creeping''.
Teenagers use the term to describe actions and crimes that involve travelling, possibly for hours, to get here by jumping on trains and trams without paying, ignoring warnings by officials, and then hopping off to commit break-and-enters, steal cars, and bash and rob victims.
Police sources have told the Bulletin that on the last weekend of March, four of the five robberies on the Gold Coast between the Thursday and Sunday were allegedly committed by juveniles.
The revelations have come as the Bulletin revealed yesterday a 17-year-old girl was beaten so badly near Helensvale train station last week that doctors thought she had a broken neck.
Mayor Tom Tate yesterday confirmed the city council had been in talks with Queensland Police about the problem.
"It's always encouraging to talk to the QPS. We hold our monthly Safer Suburb Forum and that (violence at stations) is one of the items on the agenda,'' Cr Tate said.
"All the stakeholders talk about it in different areas and we come up with a strategic solution to that, whether it's Neighbourhood Watch and the like.
"We support the police. The message out to youth is, remember we have up to 500 CCTV cameras and a lot of them are at train stations and light rail stations.
"You know, with CCTV cameras there, the recording will be there and we'll be using that to help the police to further go for prosecutions."
Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said QR was working with police to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.
"This includes the 78-officer police railway squad who are dedicated to the rail network and operate from seven strategically located outposts including at Beenleigh and Robina stations on the Gold Coast line," Mr Easy said.
"A range of other security personnel also regularly patrol the network including Queensland Rail authorised officers, security guards and mobile security patrols with dogs.
"Queensland Rail also has a 24-hour security monitoring facility at our rail management centre and access to our system of 12,000 CCTV cameras."
He said Queensland Rail was working with police to boost a security presence at Helensvale station following a number of incidents.
"While we do maintain a security presence on the Gold Coast line, we have recently worked with police to increase the security presence at Helensvale station following reports of youth anti-social behaviour in the surrounding precinct,'' he said.
"During March alone, railway squad police conducted 10 operations at Helensvale station and two operations at Coomera station, with the support of Queensland Rail. Local QPS officers also conducted enforcement activities at Helensvale and the surrounding precinct.
"This year to date, Queensland Rail's authorised officer unit has conducted 18 targeted deployments to Helensvale station and mobile security patrols have also visited the station every day as part of their patrol runs since March.
"Queensland Rail and QPS will continue to conduct high-visibility patrols at Helensvale and other locations on the network, according to intelligence received and shared between the two agencies."