By SAMANTHA TURNBULL and WILL JACKSON firstname.lastname@example.org
A STABBING in the heart of their city has Lismore residents again fearing for their safety.
Lismore Tourist Caravan Park resident Ray German, 47, was stabbed in the back and robbed about 6pm on Saturday at the corner of Dawson and Woodlark streets, near a recycling drop-off centre.
The incident occurred 50 metres from where the body of German tourist Simone Strobel was discovered in February, and about 100 metres from Mortimer Oval where a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted and her boyfriend bashed in March.
Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Det Insp Steve Clarke said although all of the attacks occurred in the eastern Dawson Street area, it was no more dangerous than other parts of Lismore.
"I think people should take precautions, such as not walking alone at night, everywhere," he said.
"It's no-one's fault if they get assaulted, but we need to do all we can to be as safe as possible."
Mr German was back home yesterday after being rushed back to hospital on Sunday night when the stab wound burst open.
"I bent over to do my shoes up and the wound opened up again. It felt cold in my back and I found I'd started bleeding again," he said.
"I don't know whether I would've died. I was just bleeding pretty badly. When I got up I was in total agony."
Mr German said while the attack was a shock, the area he lived in was unsafe.
"Down this end is pretty dangerous," he said.
"I've developed a habit of looking behind me wherever I go."
Other residents agreed the city centre was a trouble area and some refused to go out at night at all.
Lismore Tourist Caravan Park resident Kathleen Edwards said she was desperate to get her family away from the central business district.
"We need to get out," she said. "We've been stuck here for five months, nearly six. I apply for five houses a week, but no-one takes on a family with three kids and a dog."
Lance Andrews, who lives in Hindmarsh Street behind Mortimer Oval, said he was in the process of moving out of Lismore altogether.
"I've been here three years and I'm getting out, far, far away," he said.
"Lismore is no different to any other city, but everyone here still has a country town mentality. Lismore is becoming a bigger city and along with that comes crime."
Mr Andrews said residents needed to change their attitude towards violent crime.
"They've installed security cameras around the place and there's plenty of police," he said.
"But you can't police ev- eryone all the time. We need to build up a sense of community and stand up for each other."
At the recycling drop-off point yesterday, residents were shocked to learn a man had been found with a knife in his back near one of the bins.
"I've always regarded it as safe, but I'll only come down here during the day," said Len Williams, of East Lismore.
"It's worrying that this happened at 6pm when it was still light."
Emma Worts, of Dorroughby, also refuses to go out in Lismore after dark.
"I haven't got a problem with this area in the middle of the day, but I don't come to Lismore by myself at night," she said. "You have to be on your guard."
Mayor Merv King last night said he still considered the town to be a safe place. He said it was a worry the stabbing happened at dusk, but it was just an isolated incident.
"The odd thing happens, just like everywhere," he said.
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