Poppy sales down police presence up this Remembrance Day

Bunga Poppy Photo: War Memorial, Canberra, Australia

Bunga Poppy Photo: War Memorial, Canberra, Australia

THOMAS MANN

Remembrance Day ceremonies in Brisbane City will be swarming with more police and tighter security measures than ever before.

Returned Services League Queensland released a statement saying they understood the restrictions, but had serious concerns G20 security would scare people out of the city and have an impact on Remembrance Day and Red Poppy sales.

Increased police presence in the Brisbane CBD. Photo: Hayden McKee

“The combination of the G20 Summit and renovations at ANZAC Square meant a decline in funds raised and attendance at the city’s Remembrance Day service to honour the men and women of the Australian Defence Force,” the statement said.

Tomorrow’s services have been affected by a risen terror alert and security restrictions already put in place for the G20 Leaders’ Summit later this week.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said while the increased number of boys in blue may be intimidating, he hopes the public will still take a moment to think of Remembrance Day.

“We ask Queenslanders, whether it be during G20 or any other major event to be aware but never alarmed,” he said.

“Certainly these events are a way to showcase the support the police services have for what are very special days for Queenslanders.

“All of these things are to make sure the community is safe and I just say to everyone to get out and take time on a very special day to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Police Minister Jack Dempsey, Commissioner Ian Steward and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk talk G20 security.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey, Commissioner Ian Stewart and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk talk G20 security. Photo: Thomas Mann

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said he will work closely with the Government to make sure any public gathering during the heightened security restrictions will be a priority for police.

“We are going to put more police out and about during those events including specific locations where the Remembrance Day celebrations will be held,” he said.

“Also more generally in the community at large at that time, so that people will feel more confident to travel to and from and particularly to use public transport.”

However, Commissioner Stewart said the restrictions are not only related to the G20 Summit.

“The reality is, our whole environment has changed and these requirements were put in a number of weeks ago and encompass any major public event across Queensland,” he said.

“So, as we move into Christmas with holiday crowds, with Schoolies on the Gold Coast and with New Years Eve, you’ll see a heightened presence of police to provide for that overall community confidence.

“We want people to feel very, very safe in the community, that’s our job.”

RSL Queensland Chairman Terry Meehan said while the G20 Summit will have a negative impact on attendance at the ceremony, he hopes the public will still take time to remember the fallen.

“This year’s Remembrance Day had special meaning because 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One,” he said.

“This is all the more reason we should be standing shoulder to shoulder to remember the fallen and show our support for those who have served in wars past and present.”

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