WATCHING: Safe City images captured the moment a pensioner wandered off the footpath towards the nearby creek. The image enabled police to find her soon after arriving at the scene.
WATCHING: Safe City images captured the moment a pensioner wandered off the footpath towards the nearby creek. The image enabled police to find her soon after arriving at the scene.

Missing woman spotted on Ipswich Safe City cameras

LOST, confused and injured, an Ipswich woman's misadventure could have turned out for the worse if not for some excellent work from the police, and a great deal of help from the city's technology.

The Ipswich Safe City camera network, along with the Yamanto Communications Centre, have been credited with helping police track down an elderly woman who had fallen down an embankment late Monday afternoon.

A 78-year-old woman from Haig St, Brassall, was reported missing by her daughter about 5.45pm.

At that time it was feared the woman had been missing for several hours.

Considered high-risk due to a medical condition, the woman was thought to have walked from her residence in the direction of the local bikeway.

A description of the woman allowed Safe City camera operators to go back through footage and track the woman as she veered off the bikeway and into the Mihi Junction Reserve Park.

When police called in the Polair chopper and dog squad, they already had a good idea of where to look.

The dog squad tracked the woman in a gully - within about 10 minutes of the search commencing.

Crew in the Polair chopper then guided other units to the location.

She had suffered shoulder and neck injuries and was thought to have been stuck in the gully for about four hours.

Paramedics took the woman to Ipswich Hospital, but she was able to be released early yesterday morning.

In wishing the Brassall woman a speedy recovery, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the incident was a glowing endorsement not only for the Safe City network, but the local police communications centre.

"This is what Safe City is all about - keeping the community safe," he said.

"And if the State Government needs any evidence to support keeping the Ipswich Communications Centre here, then this is it.

"This is exactly what I've been trying to say about the comms centre partnership. If the comms centre and Safe City wasn't there last night, who knows how long it might have taken to find this lady?

"This is the best possible outcome for Safe City, the police and, of course, the elderly lady and her family and friends."

Health and community safety spokesman Andrew Antoniolli paid tribute to the police involved.

"The level of communication and co-ordination to locate the missing woman was second to none," he said.

"The technology of our system allowed us to backtrack and follow her movements, which helped police pinpoint her last known location. Our thoughts are with the lady, especially at this time of year, and we wish her all the best with her recovery."


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