Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt says the Member for Cairns Gavin King needs to explain discrepancies in statistics on the number of arrests and number of officers involved in Operation Escalate.

Mr Pitt said from the beginning of Operation Escalate Mr King could not explain where the extra 20 police officers promised as part of the operation were coming from and how long they would be in Cairns.

“It now appears 20 extra police officers from other regions were in Cairns assisting local police for six weeks, not six months as originally promised,” Mr Pitt said.

“To meet the shortfall for the remainder of the six months police officers from outer Cairns suburbs and regions such as Edmonton, Innisfail and Mareeba have been called into the CBD to help out.

“We have had reports that as a result these police stations cannot put enough police on the beat in the suburbs of Cairns and in regions such as Mareeba and Innisfail.

“There are also reports of officers taking stress and fatigue leave from working too many overtime hours to meet this LNP commitment.

“The LNP Government are effectively robbing Peter to pay Paul with this policing commitment.

“It’s time for Mr King to clearly outline where these extra police officers for Cairns CBD have actually been pulled from,” he said.

Mr Pitt said Mr King also needs to explain the discrepancy between two sets of arrest statistics for similar periods under Operation Escalate.

“The mypolice website states that from the 17th July – 12th September, 241 arrests were made for 273 charges on a range of good order and crime offences,” he said.

“However, in a Question on Notice tabled in Parliament on the 10th October the LNP Government claims during a similar period from 16th July – 15th September, 519 charges were made under Operation Escalate.

“This is nearly double the number of charges in a very similar time period.

“Mr King should explain how Operation Escalate figures can be so rubbery.

“This LNP Government has talked a lot in recent weeks about openness and accountability, Mr King should make all the Operation Escalate figures available on the Data Queensland website as part of the LNP pledge for open government,” he said.