Survey shows we do not feel safe in Cairns CBD or our suburbs
BURGLARIES, bashings and offences fuelled by drugs and alcohol have emerged as the top three crimes feared most by respondents to a survey by The Cairns Post.
Almost half the people who completed the State of the Far North survey, which fielded more than 1000 responses, said they felt unsafe in the Cairns CBD.
The results of the in-paper and online questionnaire reflect the general crime issues plaguing the region, police say.
"They are pretty consistent in terms of the level of property crime, street offences and anti-social behaviour that's alcohol and drug-related," the Far North's acting Chief Supt Brian Connors said.
About 45 per cent of respondents said they or a member of their family have been victims of crime.
Only 15 per cent said they felt safe in their own neighbourhood.
Burglaries and vehicle thefts have been a bane for police, particularly in the past year, while other crimes such as assaults have remained steady.
The crime rate was seen as the second most important issue after specialist medical services affecting the region.
In a survey by The Cairns Post's sister publication The Townsville Bulletin, about a third of respondents felt unsafe in their neighbourhoods.
Youth crime and car and property theft were the crimes of most concern in Townsville.
In Cairns, the second phase of Operation Escalate, a campaign that incorporates a high police presence, has been launched in a bid to cut down the offences.
But combating crime should be a whole-of-community effort, acting Chief Supt Connors said.
He said a large percentage of the population had suffered the unsettling experience of being burgled, a crime that affected people's sense of safety.
The joint campaign between The Weekend Post and police to expand Neighbourhood Watch and measures such as property home security were measures to reduce the offence rate, he said.
"The level of property crime no doubt contributes to people feeling unsafe,'' acting Chief Supt Connors said.
"We find that more than a third of break-ins occur on properties not properly secured.
"So residents can do things to help themselves.
'We need people to take positive action and be the eyes and ears in the community and reporting anything out of the ordinary to help us do our job.
"Things like Neighbourhood Watch are a perfect tool for this.''
About 37 per cent of the survey respondents were aged between 35 and 49 and almost 30 per cent were between 50 and 64.
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Crime crackdown: Queensland police conducting Operation Unite in Cairns CBD recently.