Former Macleay Island Police Sergeant, Ben Suckling, has urged islanders ‘to report everything’ to aid effective island policing.
The sergeant recently left the island, just prior to his long-time island policing partner, Snr Constable John Levi.
The duo made a significant difference to Macleay Island, putting in place some effective policing based on Zero Tolerance.
Now based on the mainland, Sgt Suckling asked The Friendly Bay Islander to pass on his message of thanks and support.
“I started permanently as the Officer in Charge of the Macleay Island Police Station a little over three years ago after having relieved on the island since 2010.
‘I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the island getting to know the community and working with them.
“I was sent here to do a job and that was to try to turn the island around and bring about a positive perception. With the help of the community, I believe Snr Const John Levi and I were able to do that.
“Policing in this type of environment is often challenging with regular threats received towards officers and their families. And it requires a strong work ethic to be successful.
“We laid a platform where there is now a strong partnership between the local stakeholders, the local member, the local councillor, the greater community and police, to combat the issues on the island.
“It is now time for another officer to come in as the Officer in Charge and continue on.
“Several changes to the island occurred during my time. A strong working relationship with the real estate agents was developed, working together towards the one goal of attracting the type of people that want to move to Macleay Island for what Macleay Island really is: A beautiful island paradise with a family friendly environment.
“The policing response on the island was also markedly changed. Macleay Island has two permanent officers stationed on the island. The community should have access to both officers regularly and not be required to wait for other resources from the mainland.
“Management of the Queensland Police Service is highly supportive of the Lower Bay Islands communities. However, like all places, if incidents are not reported then it is as though they never occur.
“I strongly urge all the community to report incidents and happenings, no matter how small. “This will benefit the island community and the future policing response on the island.”
All matters can be reported through Police link on 13144, for emergencies call ‘000’ and any anonymous information can be done through Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.”
Ben Suckling thanked all the emergency services for their support and in particular both Gavin and Kath from the Queensland Ambulance Service for their continued efforts.
“I would also like to thank all the support from all the real estate agents and the other local businesses, the skippers and deckhands at BITS and licensing outlets.”
He said in conclusion, “I would like to thank my wife Susan for putting her career on hold, and family for their continued support.
“Thanks again for all your help and to the Friendly Bay Islander for supporting policing with your wonderful Zero Tolerance program,” Ben Suckling said.