A SANCTUARY Point service station owner, whose business has been robbed three times since September, has called for a stronger police presence in the Bay and Basin.
Stan Macey, who has owned the United Service Station at Sanctuary Point since the mid-1970s, said the way to tackle the growing crime wave was to have more police on the beat, undertaking regular patrols at all times of the day and night.
“It’s absolutely getting worse,” he said.
“I believe the major issue is the growing drug culture across the whole community and people need money to feed those habits,” he said.
“But that is a problem society wide – the increase in crime and violence is largely drug-related.
“That’s what’s driving a lot of it. They are mainly after cash.
“The escalating costs of fuel are also forcing people to find other ways to get money.”
Mr Macey’s Larmer Avenue business was the scene of an armed hold-up in September and thieves have staged two break-ins since the Anzac long weekend.
In one they cut a hole in the roof to get into the building, while early last Wednesday morning thieves smashed the front window, entered an office and made off with cash.
“I’m not happy with the police response; personally I don’t think enough is being done.
“They say things are happening but I don’t think they are.
“We need a higher, more visible police presence.
“These thieves are organised, they are quick, in and out.
“It would be hard for police to actually catch them in the act, but thieves know there are no police out here, they know they often have to come from Nowra and they know where security at premises is.
“Having more police down here all the time would hopefully act as a deterrent.”
He said the break-ins not only inconvenience business owners but customers as well.
“We have to clean up the mess and make repairs,” he said.
“The other morning we had to wait for hours for forensic police to undertake their investigations and had to be closed during all that time.”
He said the break-ins would also mean a rise in insurance costs and may ultimately affect the availability of insurance cover.
He didn’t know if having already installed extra CCTV cameras inside and outside the premises was the answer.
“I suppose it gives us some idea on how the thieves are operating,” he said.