COVID ‘could be’ driving down Gladstone crime
CRIME is on another downward trend in the Gladstone local government area following a peak in August, according to police statistics.
And the COVID-19 pandemic “could be” the cause, police say.
Since the COVID pandemic began in March, Gladstone has seen two peaks in crime in 2020, during May (449 offences) and August (465) offences, according to the QPS online crime map.
Declines in offences have correspondingly occurred in June (390 offences) and September (370 offences).
Across the six months from April to September, the Gladstone LGA has seen 2454 offences committed, with the peak time for offending being between 2pm and 10pm on Fridays.
Of the 2454 offences, drug crime tops the list with 616 charges, followed by 404 traffic and other related offences, 348 other theft offences (excluding unlawful entry) and 336 good order (disorderly conduct) charges.
Gladstone police Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Jamie Goodwin said police had noticed a downward trend in crime over the past six months.
“While there is no verified evidence to support the reasons for the reduction, it is suggested that crime has reduced as the community works from home more regularly and properties are not left vacant,” he said.
“Police have also identified that the community has significantly changed attitudes towards leaving buildings and vehicles unlocked.
“The community is now locking their property which reduces the ability for opportunistic crime to occur.”
Despite drug offences being the most common charge preferred by Gladstone police, since a peak of 164 charges being issued in May, there have been less than 100 offences per month in June (95), July (89), August (98) and September (89).
Unlawful entry is the only crime category that has bucked the downward trend, jumping from 15 offences in June, to 24 in September.
After only five fraud offences in July, August saw a jump to 24 fraud charges laid, with a slight decline to 23 in September.
Snr Sgt Goodwin said proactive policing was helping catch drug offenders.
“Gladstone Police continue to be very vigilant and proactively target drug offences and individuals who supply and traffic drugs within our community,” he said.
“The ability of police to reduce the impact drugs has in our community is directly linked to the support provided by the community to stamp this behaviour out.
“All information is assessed and often the smallest piece of information helps to solve a much larger crime.
“If anyone has any information in regards to drugs they can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 and provide the information you know anonymously.”
Breakdown of 2454 offences over the past six months in the Gladstone LGA:
565 – drug related
361 – traffic and other related
313 – good order (disorderly conduct)
310 – other theft (excluding unlawful entry)
179 – other property damage
129 – assault
110 – unlawful entry
79 – fraud
Boyne Island/Tannum Sands: 201
51 – drug and other
43 – traffic and other related
38 – other theft
28 – good order
19 – other property damage
1 – assault
1 – unlawful use of motor vehicle
1 – other property damage offence