Crime wave hits Australia’s tourist playground

2011-07-21 09:49

Brisbane – Australia’s popular Gold Coast tourist playground was reeling from another murder today, with the Queensland Police Union saying it had become the country’s crime capital.

There have been five shootings in less than two months on the strip with three people dying, including a police officer.

In the latest incident, Colin Lutherborrow (36) was shot dead in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Long popular with tourists from Japan, China and Britain, the Gold Coast has witnessed dozens of armed robberies this year, and the recent killing has community concern running high.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers told reporters organised crime lords and outlawed motorcycle gangs had dug in and officers were so stretched they could not take effective action.

“Without doubt the Gold Coast has cemented itself as the crime capital of Australia and unless we get a rapid injection of 100 to 150 staff on the Gold Coast we’re in trouble,” he said.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said a new serious and violent crime squad had been set up and she was confident it would address the situation.

“What is clear is that we have some issues with crime on the Gold Coast that potentially involve gangs and organised crime,” she said.

“The sort of incidents we’re seeing there are completely unacceptable on the streets of a city like the Gold Coast. I am very confident we’re going to see major arrests out of this task force.”

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