Residents relocate after feeling ‘under attack’ in their own homes
Crime is currently a hot-topic on the minds of many residents in Townsville, and in some areas they are being forced to relocate to avoid it.
Douglas resident Stephen Lane who moved from the suburb of Rosslea after being a victim of multiple criminal incidents including a brutal bashing in 2017, has told of feeling forced-out of the suburb.
Mr Lane said the assault was the final straw, and that he still suffers with PTSD from the attacks.
“I’ve taken a fair financial hit moving to this area but I had to do it for my mental wellbeing, I couldn’t handle being in a suburb where we were just under attack the whole time,” Mr Lane said.
While the move to Douglas has made him feel safer, Mr Lane said he still witnesses crime almost everyday and is planning to move from Townsville completely because of it.
“I plan to finish my degree and leave Townsville with absolute certainty — the crime levels here are just so high.”
“I’ve been no different to a lot of resident’s, it’s very much in your face these days.”
Chrisy Crow who has recently bought a property in Aitkenvale and was broken into just over three weeks ago at her temporary residence in the same suburb, said she and her husband are no longer planning on living in the Aitkenvale after the incident.
“This has made us think twice about where we’ve purchased a property — In talking to the police, they said the whole suburb of Aitkenvale was hit that same night and they were just snowed under with reports,” Ms Crow said.
“We got the house for a very good price so we’re not too put out … but it has definitely made us not want to stay here — we’re going to renovate it, rent it out and we’ll move somewhere safer like North Ward.”
Head of economics at James Cook University, Dr Riccardo Welters said research in parts of the country has shown property values are affected in areas where there are high crime rates against people.
“looking at research that has been done in Sydney and Victoria, it’s found that crime against property does not affect property values but crime against the person does,” Mr Welters said.
Crunch time for election property promises for first home buyers
Interest rate to drop below 1 percent, Big Four bank predicts
Darius Boyd lists first home ever bought
Regional director at REIQ Damien Keyes said crime is a well-known occurrence in Townsville, and is on the minds of buyers.
“I think unfortunately crime in Townsville is that wide spread now that there’s not any one suburb where it’s particularly more isolated than another,” Mr Keyes said.
“It is something that definitely does come up with buyers, but it doesn’t seem to stop them buying — they will gravitate to areas that accommodate their strongest needs (school, work etc.).
“They also have budget limitations.”
Inspector Sean Dugger said he could not pinpoint any specific Townsville suburbs where crime is more prevalent but said local police have a range of tactics in place to combat crime.
“We are intelligence driven, so we have adopted a number of strategies to address property crime in conjunction with other government agencies — that can be everything from high visibility patrolling to allocation of resources in certain areas,” Mr Dugger said.
“We also do a fair bit of work in the preventive space, and have a number of other strategies with the view of disrupting crime.”
MORE IN REAL ESTATE NEWS