Backpackers targeted by criminals

January 8th, 2019 | | Accommodation

Stanthorpe police are urging residents to keep their cars and houses locked as property crime reaches its peak this time of year.

Stanthorpe officer in charge, Senior Sergeant Gerard Brady, said with an influx of backpackers and tourists, they were easy targets for local offenders.

“(Offenders) know they’re sometimes lax with security,” he said.

“The intel we have is they get actively targeted during the summer months.”

Last December there were 162 unlawful entry offences for the Darling Downs district.

Snr Sgt Brady said the vast majority of these offences were opportunistic.

“People are more prone to leave their houses open, particularly overnight, and there are certainly offenders that will target unsecured houses even if you’re in there.

“Occasionally we get targeted break and enters and burglaries.”

He said property crime was inextricably linked to drugs.

“It’s not minus 10 outside, there’s no ice on the ground, so people are more inclined to get out, go to parties and use recreational drugs.”

Snr Sgt Brady said good order offences, such as public nuisance, and liquor offences also tended to spike over Christmas, with 337 and 59 offences respectively in the district last December.

“We have a lot more people attending licensed premisses. Sometimes (backpackers are) over-represented in good order crimes and liquor offences,” he said.

“Often in their countries they can consume it in public, they can do things that we can’t here.”

He said backpackers were also over-represented in traffic offences.

“They account for a large portion of our traffic crashes, whether that’s because they’re not experienced driving in the country they originate from or whether they don’t fully understand the road rules here,” he said.

Snr Sgt Brady is urging residents not to be complacent.

“We know there are offenders from cities who come to regional areas to target these towns and then leave,” he said.

“While we live in a relatively safe town, you never know what elements are coming to town for a short time to commit offences.”

ED: Is this occurrence happening elsewhere?

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Source: Stanthorpe Border Post

Sourced by Mike Barrow