Queanbeyan has seen a significant jump in the statistics that record official reports of “retail crime” or shoplifting in a report released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR).
Despite the overall falling levels of crime, Queanbeyan-Palerang ranks among a number of local areas experiencing problems with theft from retail stores.
According to BOSCAR reports of stealing from a retail store increased in the following local government areas across New South Wales:
- Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional up 73.5%
- Shoalhaven up 70.8%
- Wingecarribee up 39.3%
- Shellharbour up 33%
- Wollondilly up 30%
- Bayside up 26.9%
- Maitland up 29.4%
- Mid-Coast up 24.9%
The Queanbeyan-Palerang council area ranks a clear first in terms of the increases in reports of retail theft.
Interestingly, the Shoalhaven area, the only near ranking to Queanbeyan-Palerang in terms of an increase in shoplifting statistics, is located in a neighbouring region and has a similar socio-economic profile to Queanbeyan-Palerang.
Both areas are in southern New South Wales and both are characterised by a unique mix of urban, suburban, semi-rural and rural living.
Shoalhaven is heavily connected to the larger city of Wollongong in much the same way Queanbeyan-Palerang is linked to nearby Canberra.
According to BOSCAR law enforcement activity saw a continued increase during this same period. The number of young people cautioned or referred to a youth justice conference also increased across the state.
The period has also seen a call by the police union, the Police Association of NSW, to increase police numbers in the the Monaro Police District with special focus on the Queanbeyan-Palerang area.
The Police Association of NSW is calling for three new sergeants and 21 new constables to be allocated to the border station located in central Queanbeyan.
“The stress levels and burnout created by the under-resourcing at Monaro is making things very difficult for our members,” Ben Buffett, the police union's southern region organiser, said.