Top cop’s plea to influencers over death in paradise
One of Queensland's most senior detectives says he's had enough of rising knife crime and has called on social media influencers to use their power for good instead of for their own gain in a bid to stop the deadly scourge.
A frustrated Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith spoke out yesterday after the latest in a spate of violent knife attacks claimed the life of a young father on the Gold Coast.
Raymond Harris, 27, of Beenleigh, was stabbed to death with what police described as a Rambo-style hunting knife in the heart of Surfers Paradise on Wednesday night in a horrific street fight witnessed by families on school holidays.
Detectives will allege a group of men travelled to Cavill Mall to "hunt down" Mr Harris and stabbed him before storming the Surfers Paradise Beergarden and bashing his friends.
It was the third fatal stabbing in Surfers in nine months, following the deaths of Jack Beasley, 17, last December and Nicholas Braid, 35, in April.
Harrison Geppert, younger brother of former Hells Angel bikie Ben Geppert, was stabbed to death in a Varsity Lakes park last September.
"I don't know about you but I've had enough," Supt Smith said.
"Knife crime is becoming increasingly common and the actions of what happened last night is a clear consequence of people being complete idiots.
"The youth today, for some reason, they think it's cool to have that gangster attitude and carry knives. There is no excuse.
"A generation ago, a fight was between a group of people (with) fisticuffs and the consequences were far less. Now, you bring a knife, and it's a millimetre whether you survive or you don't.
"We had a stabbing two nights ago where, only by the grace of God, this person's still alive.
"When will they learn?
"They're not listening to us.
"Some of our social influencers need to actually use their power for good instead of for their own gain.
"They could really influence the attitudes of some of our young people."
Police yesterday arrested four men over the stabbing, two of whom faced court charged with murder.
Supt Smith said it would be alleged that two groups involved knew each other and the offenders went to Surfers Paradise to 'actively seek out' Mr Harris and his friends.
Mr Harris' former partner and the mother of his child young daughter posted a heartfelt tribute on social media.
"I'll never be able to handle the fact that my little girl will never get to see her daddy again," she wrote.
At least one of those arrested had links to Brisbane's notorious Northside Gang but police said the alleged murder was not gang-related.
Jye Sebastian Webb-Italia, 18, and Jarod James Miller, 21, faced Southport Magistrates Court yesterday charged with Mr Harris's murder.
Police allege that Webb-Italia inflicted the fatal wounds.
He was not required to say anything during a brief mention of the case, which was adjourned until October 15.
Outside court, his defence lawyer Rodney Keyte said Webb-Italia was 'in a world of shock right now'.
"He is very young and he's got to process what's happened," he said.
Originally published as Top cop's plea to influencers over death in paradise