Wacol Youth Remand Centre Progresses Toward 2024 Completion

Did you know that the Wacol Youth Remand Centre, a facility that aims to provide better shelter for the youth in detention and rehabilitation, will be completed by late 2024?

With the Queensland Police Service (QPS) spearheading the construction process that began in late 2023, the Wacol Youth Remand Centre is a few months away from being ready to house youth being held in watchhouses on remand. 

Initially envisioned to have 50 beds, QPS has expanded the centre’s capacity to 76 beds to ensure that more young individuals will have access to the support and services they need while in custody at the Wacol Police Complex. 

The centre’s strategic co-location with Brisbane and West Moreton youth detention facilities allows youth access to essential services including education, healthcare, counselling, and open-air exercise areas for recreational activities. 

The Wacol Youth Remand Centre, operated by the Department of Youth Justice, will house youth in custody until new youth centres in Cairns and Woodford open. 

The decision to fast-track construction and consolidate the project into a single stage is part of the State’s dedication to addressing youth crime and promoting community safety.

Rapid-build methodologies have driven progress, allowing the facility to take shape swiftly while maintaining high quality and safety standards.

In a statement to media, Premier Steven Miles said that the government will continue to invest in the prevention, intervention and detention programs that work.  

“With more Police and targeted high visibility police operations taking place around the state, we are seeing an increase in arrests and offenders in custody,” he said.

“The Wacol Remand Facility will act as additional remand capacity while two new youth detention centres are built, to minimise the time young people are held in watchhouses on remand.”

“With its close proximity to the Wacol Police Complex, young people will have access to the education, health care and rehabilitation services needed to get back on the right path,” he added.

Published 8-April-2024

QPS Disaster Victim Identification Squad Adds 15 Members, Celebrates 40 Years in Wacol

Did you know that the Queensland Police Service has a Disaster Victim Identification Squad? The exclusive group has turned 40 years old and has welcomed 15 new members during a practitioners’ at the Bob Atkinson Operational Capabilities Centre in Wacol.

QPS’s Disaster Victim Identification Squad are mostly part-timers who have such challenging jobs. They are one of the first groups on the scene during a major incident, such as natural or air disasters, assisting other units in the identification of the deceased. 

The group, now 71-member strong, also works with the police during investigations into suicide, homicide, and traffic accidents, where identifying bodies may be difficult. 

Established on 1 June 1981, the Disaster Victim Identification Squad started off with 45 members. Before the newbies finished their practitioners’ course, the team had 56 dedicated members who have experience working as Constables to Senior Sergeants.

Photo Credit: Queensland Police Service

Their expertise is not limited to Australia as the squad also helped during the following tragic occurrences in the last two decades:

  • 2002 Bali bombings
  • 2004 Thailand for the Indian Ocean earthquake and resulting tsunami
  • 2009 Victorian bushfires
  • 2011 Christchurch earthquake
  • 2014 Netherlands for the shooting down of MH17
  • 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings
  • 2019 Whakaari/White Island volcano eruption

“[The squad] make ongoing and valuable contributions to not only the Queensland community, interstate and internationally but most importantly to the family and friends of disaster victims,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Chelepy said.

On the other hand, Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan congratulated the new members during the five-day course in Wacol as their decision to join this specialised group was “not an easy decision to make.”

“I commend all of you for making this choice to assist the Queensland community and all victims of disaster,” Mr Ryan said. “You have shown courage and bravery, and I sincerely thank you for putting yourself forward for such a role within the Service.”