Successful trials of hotel lockouts in NSW aimed at curbing drunken violence have prompted calls for such trials to be extended. Lockouts that ban patrons entering licensed premises after a late night deadline but allow those already inside to keep drinking have been trialled successfully in Newcastle and Wollongong. NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said a lot of the violence police dealt with resulted when a person left one venue for another. “If there’s no other venue for them to go to and they’re locked in then we know that, in Newcastle particularly, that has reduced the level of violence,” he said. The Police Association has also been pushing for the Newcastle system, where lockouts are enforced at pubs from 1am and pubs close at 3am, to be introduced across the state. Many individual hotels have, in addition to security monitoring, trialled lockouts, serving alcohol in plastic cups and early closures.
A teenager who unleashed a terrifying six-week crime spree in Melbourne has been jailed for a minimum of two years and 10 months. Luke Jolly-Bishop, 19, and a 16-year-old accomplice, committed 14 armed robberies late last year. A court was told the pair were inspired to hit “soft targets” after viewing the TV movie The Postcard Bandit, which is loosely based on the exploits of one of Australia’s most notorious criminals, Brenden James Abbott. The pair terrorised staff and stole about $20,000 in cash, cigarettes or alcohol at petrol stations, bottle shops and supermarkets — outlets that are sometimes seen as easy targets despite their security camera systems — in Melbourne’s outer south-eastern suburbs. Judge Joe Gullaci said the crimes had been well-planned and executed despite being committed during Jolly-Bishop’s “spiralling ice addiction.” The judge said no one should be confronted by bandits wielding potentially lethal weapons.
The fear of crime is soaring in Malaysia as personal tales of abduction, assault and robbery go viral online. Shopping malls and residents’ groups have launched patrols, sales of security equipment such as burglar alarms are surging, newspapers offer tips on how to avoid becoming a victim and social media is abuzz with anguish over the situation. In the past, it has been bag snatching and other petty crime that has drawn attention, but more serious recent incidents have been widely highlighted on the Internet, channeling public concern in a country where nearly half the 28 million population is on Facebook. Prime Minister Najib Razak pledged to reduce crime after taking power in 2009 and claims to have made progress, saying the crime problem is being hyped online. He said the number of reported crimes fell 11.1 per cent in 2011 and was down 10 per cent in the first half of 2012. Sceptics claim the fall could be due to apathy about seeking police help.
Thousands of guns have been stolen from private homes and dealers in Australia during the past eight years, with only a fraction being recovered by police. A study of organised crime gangs and firearm trafficking the Australian Institute of Criminology says more than 7500 guns were stolen nationally between 2004 and 2009, with just 12 to 14 per cent recovered within a year. The number of thefts is also likely to be higher because there was only limited data from some states and it is expected it would have risen substantially in the ensuing period. More than three quarters of the guns were stolen from private homes, either through targeted thefts or opportunistically during burglaries, a figure which highlights the need for effective home security systems among gun owners. By far the most common weapons seized from serious organised crime figures were handguns, which are easy to conceal and have large magazines.
The Northern Territory needs to develop systems, programs and facilities that will result in less people in jail and for shorter periods, according to the Criminal Lawyers Association. The Territory has some of the toughest law reforms in the country — especially in alcohol and mandatory sentencing laws — but it also has the highest rate of recidivism. While imprisonment has increased over the past 10 years, crime rates are not reducing. Association President Russell Goldflam said those who were locked up also needed something meaningful to do, as rehabilitation was “a lot cheaper than the cost of criminals returning to prison.” While individuals consider issues such as home security in response to consistently high crime levels, Northern Territory Police Association President Vince Kelly said the biggest social problem in crime was alcohol. “We can’t arrest our way out of what is a serious social problem,” he said.
Police and social workers are being burdened with the consequences of rising truancy rates and suspensions in Victorian schools. Bob Falconer, a former police commissioner in Western Australia and deputy commissioner in Victoria, said many teachers were glad to see the back of troublesome pupils, but they were just pushing the problem onto the streets. He said studies showed that absenteeism from schools could be directly linked to a rise in crime. There were more than 14,000 suspensions in Victorian schools between February and August last year. Teenagers who missed school through suspension or truancy ended up hanging around shopping malls looking for targets, veteran youth worker Les Twentyman said. “When they kick them out it becomes a problem for the community,” he said. The growth in this type of crime meant most retail precincts had installed CCTV security systems to help catch offenders.
A spate of break ins has taken place in and around Corben St, Surry Hills, in the past few months. Seven homes have been targeted in the area in that time, according to Surry Hills police. In one incident, a Corben Street resident had $85,000 worth of goods stolen. Homes have also been targeted in Little Riley, Foveaux, Waterloo and Fitzroy streets. Police said they were aware of the increased number of home break ins in the area and understood residents’ concerns. They advised residents to get to know each other, know when someone is away, know who lives where and know who shouldn’t be at a property. Suspicious activity or people should be immediately reported to police. Measures recommended by police to improve home security also include deadlocks on doors, key locks on windows and security lighting. Descriptions, models and serial numbers of valuables should be recorded to assist in easy identification.
A bus was trashed by more than 30 youths during a shocking attack on the Gold Coast in June. Every window of the bus was smashed when the mob attacked it at Burleigh Heads on the night of June 24. Iron bars were thrown at the windows, glass shattering on up to 15 terrified passengers inside. The horrifying incident was captured by a CCTV security camera on board the bus. Surfside Bus Company has passed the footage to police. One 18 year old man has been charged and police are continuing their investigations into the incident. The bus operators said they’d never seen an incident like it and that it was a miracle none of the passengers were hurt. The Transport Workers Union has called for duress alarms to be installed on Gold Coast buses in response to a rising number of attacks.
Police have released an image from a CCTV camera that they hope will assist with their inquiries into the alleged sexual assault of a woman in the Sydney suburb of Rozelle. The 23 year old woman shared a taxi with a man from Hyde Park to the intersection of Lilyfield and Victoria Roads on the night of June 2. Police have been told both passengers got out of the taxi, before the man dragged the woman into nearby bushes and sexually assaulted her. The woman managed to break free and run away a short time later. As part of their investigation police have released images of a man who they believe might be able to assist with their inquiries. The man is described as being of African appearance, more than 183cm tall with a thin build and short black hair. The security footage shows him wearing a black leather jacket and dark coloured pants. To assist, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Vision from a security camera system may provide clues to a break in at a pizza store in Casino, northern NSW. Nicole Ross, the Manager of the Casino Pizza Shop, was alerted to the robbery of her store when a fellow Casino Plaza shopkeeper phoned her to inform her that the door of her shop was open. Security camera footage revealed the store had been entered earlier that morning by what were believed to be a female and two males aged about 16 or 17 wearing gloves, hooded jumpers and carrying a jimmy bar. The alleged thieves ransacked the property and made off with the store’s cash register, which held the overnight float. Ms Ross, whose father owns the store, has appealed for public information to track down the offenders. It was the first crime experienced at the store in more than 12 months since her father bought it.