Gun-toting Rent-a-Cops coming to Toowoomba CBD
A CRACK new private security force called Rent-A-Cop is about to set up shop in the heart of Toowoomba.
By-and-large, the Rent-A-Cop officers patrolling the city's streets will come from a military or law enforcement background.
They will carry guns and claim they can usually get to the scene of a crime quicker than police.
They run their own 24-hour emergency hotline and drive cars that bear a striking resemblance to those of the Queensland Police.
These are tough, no-nonsense, paramilitary types and they plan to open an office in the city-centre.
General manager Clinton Stephen said the company was formed in Ipswich in 2011 and had offices on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and from Brisbane up to Bribie Island.
"We would consider the crime problem in Toowoomba to be moderate to high, given the size of the population and area. We believe Toowoomba needs the high-end service we can provide," he said.
Rent-A-Cop has made a name for itself for its patrol cars which look very similar to real police cars.
The likeness has not ingratiated the business with the Queensland Police Union, which has fought unsuccessfully for the use of emblems and artwork similar to genuine police vehicles to be banned.
"Everyone needs the police - we're here to aid them," Mr Stephen said.
"When someone doesn't feel safe and wants someone there now, they have the option to contact us after the police in order to have that safety there immediately.
"Nine times out of 10, we can quell the situation before the police arrive."
Mr Stephen said Rent-A-Cop would open an office on Margaret St by July this year.