City on the run: Three major manhunts in seven days

THREE intensive manhunts across the city in the past week have kept Toowoomba police busy.

Shots fired on a suburban street, the capture of a recidivist offender and a runaway prisoner have involved large numbers of police from around the region.

But the isolated and unrelated incidents have not put the city and its residents at risk, according to the region's top cop.

Darling Downs district officer Detective Inspector Dave Isherwood said a well-designed staffing model and a bit of luck has meant no call for assistance by any member of the community had gone unanswered by police during the large-scale manhunts.

"We're fortunate that in Toowoomba there is sufficient staff," he said.

"There are usually six or seven cars on the roads which operate on a team policing model which is probably the perfect model for a big station like Toowoomba.

"That means there isn't a drain for jobs when there is a continued presence required (at incidents)."

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A 14-year-old girl escaped from police Tuesday afternoon, sending police on a chase across the city.

The girl was in police custody after being refused bail following an appearance in the city's Magistrates Court that morning.

She had been ordered to undergo medical checks at the Toowoomba Hospital where she escaped from officers, sparking a major search.

The police dog squad chase a man at Wilsonton Heights.
The police dog squad chase a man at Wilsonton Heights. Paul Ellison

During a brief appearance before the same court yesterday, the girl was not required to enter any pleas to charges of escaping lawful custody and stealing - arising from the handcuffs and watch house issue clothing she was wearing at the time.

Shots fired in Wilsonton sent the suburb into partial lockdown before the man, Jackson Paul Edward McInnes, 21, was spotted in Kearneys Spring.

Police closed down Kearney St as they zeroed in on the offender.

The lockdown lasted more than an hour.

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McInnes was refused bail in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Monday where he appeared on a number of weapons charges.

Police closed down a large part of Wilsonton's Wine Estate last week, calling in 46 police officers and two police dogs to hunt for a wanted man.

The suburb was locked down about 1.30pm on Monday, June 22.

Detectives and uniformed officers scoured the area for more than four hours before arresting the man in Watervale St.

A 31-year-old man was arrested on a number of charges.

Det. Insp. Isherwood said the strong police presence reflected the seriousness of the suspected crimes.

"There was a substantial number of police deployed, mainly because of the fact that person was well-known to police and is a recidivist offender," he said.

"With that arrest, there has been a reduction in the number of property-related offences and the number of reported property crimes."

He said Toowoomba currently had about 100 uniformed officers bolstered by a further 65 specialist officers from various units including the Criminal Investigation Branch, Crime Prevention Unit and Tactical Crime.

"Fortunately, these incidents have not been in our peak periods so they haven't been resourcing intensive," he said.

"In terms of staff deficiencies, there weren't any and no calls for assistance went unanswered."


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