Armed robberies fuel fears in Bay and Basin
From the South Coast Register, 25 September 2014
The brazen armed robbery on Friday night against feisty 68-year-old Margaret Ward at Liquor Legends in the Vincentia Shops has business-owners and residents afraid about what will happen next.
Vincentia Butchery owner Kieran Jones said his customers talk to him all the time about the growing fear in the community.
“Older people are especially worried,” Mr Jones said.
“Locals are dead bolting their doors at night, and jamming shut their windows.
“People shouldn’t have to be this afraid.”
He said he had taken to carrying his “chopper” with him when he carries the day’s earning to the bank.
“I’ve worked too damn hard for this just to let some idiot steal it from me.”
Mr Jones said there was a real and growing feeling of menace in the area.
“When the Huskisson Police Station closes down between 2am and 7am, response time for major incidents can be up to an hour,” he said.
Mr Jones wants to know what good that does for someone who has just been robbed at gunpoint.
“We’re jack of it. Something needs to be done.”
The Acting Shoalhaven Local Area Commander Superintendent Paul Condon said the current data on reported crime in the area does not support keeping the Huskisson police station opened 24-hours a day.
“However, we are looking at moving the Huskisson station to Vincentia so it is more central to the Bay and Basin area. There is currently no timeframe for this.”
Superintendent Condon pointed out that police proactively patrol the area after the Huskisson station closes, and respond to calls.
“The Shoalhaven Local Area Command meets daily to evaluate crime across the whole region, and tasks are modified to meet identified crime trends,” he said.
“Because of recent activity in the Bay and Basin area, we have increased our taskings in that area.”
Superintendent Condon said policing was also a community responsibility.
“We constantly advertise and engage the community in helping us drive down local crime. In fact, this Friday, September 26, we have a community engagement meeting at Lions Peace Park at Sussex Inlet starting at 12.30pm.
“At this engagement we will ask members of the local community to speak with us about their concerns, and provide us with any information they think will help us reduce crime in the area.”