'We are continuing to target the area', say police
RICHMOND Local Area command police, fully aware of the spate of break-ins and vandalism that has left the neighbourhood near Ballina Fair to rally against crime, said they would continue to target the area with resources.
However, Chief Inspector Bill McKenna said residents living in the crime hotspot should do their bit by being extra security conscious.
"The one main message we want getting out there is to 'lock up'. We are aware of a number of incidents where property and vehicle were unlocked," he said.
Mr McKenna also advised victims of crime to report incidents to police -- no matter how petty.
"It doesn't matter how petty, we want the community to come forward so we can assist.
"We are continuing to target the area with resources," he said.
UPDATE: READERS have taken our poll to show that break-ins amongst them are high.
Here are the results:
With nearly 50% of our poll takers experiencing theft in their home, now may be the time to look into house security.
Nearly 40% considered themselves lucky to not have been broken into.
Readers felt police weren't much help even if there were witnesses to the crime.
"You could catch them in the act and the cops in this town still wouldnt come and arrest them," Justin Zellers posted.
"Cops need to do something before the locals do" Lauren N Chris B posted.
"If these perpetrators are underage then they need to be taken from their parents. Parents know if their children are out causing havoc most nights," Girls of Booval posed on our website.
INITIAL: A BAND of neighbours in the area adjacent to Ballina Fair shopping centre are so shocked at the increasingly brazen nature of break-ins, theft and vandalism, they have formed a group to tackle the problem.
At a meeting, coordinated with the help of Ballina Crime Facebook page, Hickey St resident Anna Parkinson said the neighbours tallied 30 mindless attacks within three weeks.
Police also attended the meeting, where residents compared strange notes.
There were four victims who reported the trespassers had upturned their ashtrays and arranged cigarette butts in a pattern.
Others reported that the vandals had actually left clothes on the clothesline which did not belong to the residents.
When Ms Parkinson invited her struggling single-mum sister Sasha and her nephew who suffers from a heart condition, to stay at her house for support, she never imagined her sister's car would be broken into twice in four days.
"It could be children, it could be adults. In my mind whoever they are, they have nothing better to do," she said.
"I'm not in a position to pay for CCTV."
Have you ever had your house broken in to?
This poll ended on 03 May 2016.
Yes - I had items stolen
Yes - but nothing was stolen
No - I have security measures in place
No - I have been lucky
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
But it's wearing thin for Ms Parkinson who just wants to keep her six and 11-year-old daughters safe after their harrowing past.
"My daughters and I have had to relocate due to a stalker breaking into our house and standing over us while me and my daughters were asleep," she said.
"I came here to establish a new life. My youngest daughter's father was killed last year.
"What shocks me is how brazen they have become. We're struggling families.
"My sister is a single parent. She is raising her son who has a heart condition. Her car is her only valuable thing she owns and only means of transport."
On Wednesday her sister's car window was shattered. Nothing was taken except a handbag. The following Friday, the car, parked right under the porch, had been broken into again, her replacement windscreen still on order.
"The windscreen smashing is rife. We were advised that the method they use is spark plugs to shatter the windows - it's very quiet," Ms Parkinson said.
"It's gridlock for police. I completely understand. They seem to know who is doing it but they can't do much."
The Parkinsons just want to find a solution, rather than to seek revenge or be involved in any racial profiling.
"We just want it stopped. At this time, we're close to creating a care package for those that are doing this," she said.
"Please, don't steal it. We're good people. We work hard and we struggle.
"We're here to try to make a solution to a situation that is heartbreaking."
The areas targeted were Hickey Pl, Hickey St, Leeson St, Clavan St, Fox St, Catherine Cres, Temple St, Vera Pl.