COVID-19 cabin fever causing spike in crime
CABIN fever caused by coronavirus restrictions could be the cause for criminal offences according to a Burnett police sergeant.
Offences such as drink-driving and theft appear to be on the rise in the region since the pandemic first struck Australia.
Gayndah officer in charge Sergeant Don Auld said the continuance of random offences could be attributed to residents' reactions to isolation.
"We've seen a lot of drink-driving cases where the readings have been quite high," Sgt Auld said.
"It appears that tensions could be rising at home, causing residents to commit offences."
The latest drink-driving incident occurred on May 2, when Gayndah police were called to a minor traffic crash on Capper St.
Police will allege the 25-year-old Gayndah man involved in the collision blew 0.195 roadside after side swiping another car.
He was subsequently charged with high-range drink-driving, and will face Gayndah Magistrates Court later this year.
Another drink-driver was detected only a week prior, when a 59-year-old man blew five times the legal alcohol limit on April 22.
Rural property crimes have continued to be committed in the North Burnett, one incident involving the theft of a box trailer from a residence in Binjour.
Police will allege the domestic box trailer was sitting outside the victim's home on May 7, full to the brim with rubbish.
"It was parked outside for some time waiting to be taken to the dump," Sgt Auld said.
"Someone has then come through and taken the lot."
The registration of the trailer is OX8980, and a boat carrier roller and two jerry cans were stolen with it.
Gayndah police were preoccupied with another incident late last month, when a 19-year-old man allegedly broke into Lifeline on April 25.
Eidsvold police have reported their own incidences of rural crime, which included several properties being targeted by thieves in late April.
As the region moves closer to normality in the coming months, Sgt Auld wants to remind the community to continue social distancing.
"It's hard to break habits of a lifetime by shaking hands and saying g'day," he said.
"But everyone still needs to keep up to date with 13 Health, and go outside for a bit.
"We're isolating to protect ourselves, but we're now able to exercise and travel certain distances, so I'd encourage our community get some fresh air."