Too many lives being ruined by this violence
ONE of the Sunshine Coast's most experienced police officers says we are destroying lives with increasingly severe acts of violence.
DISTRICT duty officer Senior Sergeant Peter McGregor has made an emotional plea to stop the violent attacks that have seen two men killed on our streets in past months and shattered the lives of loved ones forever.
Snr Sgt McGregor visits all serious crime scenes on the Coast and is sick of seeing lives ruined in alcohol and drug-fuelled incidents.
"It only takes a couple of seconds, but once they stop and look at what they've done, it sinks in," Snr Sgt McGregor said.
"It's life-changing for them and the victim."
Coming into his 40th year as a police officer, Snr Sgt McGregor believes the frequency of assaults has remained consistent, but the severity has increased dramatically in recent times.
"That self-control button to know when to stop seems to have dissipated," he said.
"There doesn't seem to be that thought process to say: 'What am I doing? I could hurt that person and destroy my own life'.
"Not only does it change their lives and the lives of the victims and the victims'families, but it also changes the lives of their own families.
Are our streets in the tourist hot spots safe to walk at night?
This poll ended on 13 April 2014.
Absolutely, anybody can safely walk the streets of the Coast at night without concern.
Mostly, but there are still people out there who may do me harm.
Not really, you really have to keep your wits about you.
Definitely not, something has to be done to make the streets safer.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"These people could come from good families, have loving mothers and aunts and brothers and sisters, and it could all be changed because of a moment of stupidity."
The look of remorse in an offender's eyes is something Snr Sgt McGregor is all too familiar with.
"They always look different the next day when it sinks in," he said.
"They are full of regret and wish they could take it back, but we've got to take responsibility for our actions and we just can't keep blaming other circumstances."
The issue of violence has been in the spotlight after the deaths of Wayne Dover and Bruce Steensen, who died in violent assaults on the Coast within three months of each other.
CALM Maroochydore chairman Dion Spadaro agreed with Snr Sgt McGregor, saying a "lack of respect" was making attacks more violent than ever.
"Back 30 or 40 years ago, if someone had someone on the ground and was stomping on them, his mates would pull him off," he said.
"Now, they don't.
"We used to have that respect for people and slowly over time that has just eroded."
The State Government's response to violent assaults, the Safe Night Out strategy, is available for public comment until April 21.
Caloundra Chamber tourism and events chairman Bill Darby said it was important that Coast residents had their say on the State Government's plan.
"This strategy covers everything from compulsory alcohol and drug counselling to changing the law - police powers, licensing, and penalties including community service - to show bad behaviour won't be tolerated in our community," he said.