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  • Business burglaries increasing

    2018 - 10.21

    BUSINESS burglaries in Launceston remain on the rise, causing a major headache for the city’s commerce.

    Since July there have been 291 business burglaries in the North compared with 169 in the same time last year – a 71 per cent spike.

    The increase has prompted Northern CIB Detective Inspector John King to write to the Launceston Chamber of Commerce to address the problem.

    Inspector King told The Examiner that the increase could be related to a number of factors, including socio-economic and health issues.

    The rise in business burglaries, as well as house and car break-ins, comes after years of sustained reductions.

    As part of the Northern district’s crime management plan, offenders are asked to fill out questionnaires about the burglaries.

    Unsurprisingly, a desire for cash followed by electrical items – that can be quickly sold for money to buy drugs – appear to be the main motivations.

    “So we’re urging businesses to question whether they need to keep cash on the premises and, if so, making sure there’s appropriate security,” Inspector King said.

    Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Maree Tetlow said the burglaries were a drain for her members.

    “It’s quite distressing for businesses,” she said.

    Ms Tetlow said shoplifting was also a major concern for stores.

    “Unfortunately when you have got high unemployment it can cause these types of outcomes and I think, as a community, we all need to participate to improve the situation,” she said.

    Antisocial behaviour in the CBD has also raised its head again.

    Store owners along Brisbane Street say the problem is getting worse and children as young as eight are involved.

    Several of the traders blamed the bus stop outside Target for its role in attracting many people to a small space.

    One operator proposed splitting the bus stop into several locations.

    “When the average person can’t go about their daily routine without feeling intimidated, there’s something very wrong,” she said.

    “Something’s got to give, and it can’t be letting them get away with everything they want to do.”

    Tasmania Police will meet with businesses to discuss the issue at a forum next week.

    Metro said it had not received any reports of antisocial behaviour at the bus stop but urged people to report it.

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