A woman has been sexually assaulted and four shops have been broken into across shopping centres in a Brisbane suburb this week, despite a police vow to combat crime in the area following the brutal stabbing murder of a grandmother.
Vyleen White, 70, was stabbed to death at Town Square Redbank Plains, southwest of Brisbane, on Saturday with a 16-year-old boy charged with her murder.
The horrific crime resulted in a promise from local law enforcement to increase patrols, particularly around the town’s shopping centres.
However, the increased policing has done seemingly little to halt the recent spike in crime with two major crimes reported across the town’s shopping centres this week.
News.com.au can reveal a man was arrested on Wednesday night after allegedly sexually assaulting a staff member who was working at Town Square Redbank Plains – just four days after the grandmother’s murder at the same shopping centre.
On Friday morning – six days after the murder – a set of shops were also broken into at Redbank Plain’s Mountview shopping centre, leaving local businesses devastated.
Independent candidate for the upcoming Ipswich City Council election Josh Addison spoke to the public on Friday at Redbank Plains Town Square and said he would be asking the state government for a permanent police beat in the area.
A mobile police beat has been set up at the shopping centre, however, it is temporary and will only run until February 16.
Speaking to news.com.au, Mr Addison said car theft, property theft, and violence had gotten out of hand.
“Today I had a mother come up to me, a teacher come up to me, and say they are fearful and they don’t want to let their children walk the streets,” he said.
“They’re scared to go to the shops. They don’t want to go up there in the dark.”
He said one local business even told him they now send their employees to the bathroom in pairs due to safety concerns.
“This is just becoming too frequent. We are not safe anymore,” he said.
The town’s community pages have been flooded with concerns from terrified, some saying they are looking to move from the area as a result of the recent crime.
“[Redbank Plains] is becoming a horrible place to live,” Resident Emily Swenser said.
Local resident Anna Gillespie said she had lived in the area for 50 years and was shocked there were no permanent emergency services in the town.
“It’s like the forgotten suburb,” she said.
Queensland Police have encouraged anyone who witnessed or had information into either the sexual assault or break-and-enter to contact police.