In a small town in the middle of Australia, violence was so intense that the local nursing home erected a fence like a prison.
The city of Alice Springs is bracing for a “summer of violence” after a crime wave involving burglaries, car thefts and ramming attacks.
Recent photos of the city’s retirement home showed that a “composite” fence with barbed wire had been erected to protect the city’s most vulnerable.
The Old Timers Village, Flynn Lodge and the resident-run Old Timers Museum are all behind the high security fence to prevent further chaos.
Although the small town only has 28,000 residents, it is overrun with crime.
The need for a fence to protect the city’s elderly population has sparked widespread outrage on social media.
One frustrated resident commented: “It won’t stop them as their actions have no consequences and they know that.”
Another said: “This is so sad. No respect for the elders and so sad for the residents…they deserve to feel safe and secure.”
A woman who claimed to work at the retirement village said: “This is my place of work. Yes, we need protection.”
Another local chimed in: “It looks like a prison. It’s so sad that our elderly need to be protected.”
The Alcatraz-style fence was installed after it emerged that the older village was the target of a crime wave last summer.
Action for Alice Facebook page owner Darren Clark shared photos of the new fence online.
He said NewsAu: “They break into rooms and steal the residents’ possessions. A guy, his mom…they were in her room.”
“They stole company cars. They broke in, stole cars and drove out again with ramming attacks.”
This is the latest escalation as the city has faced “juvenile crime” and “alcohol-related violence” in recent years.
Despite new restrictions, Alice Springs mayor Matt Paterson said crime had not gone down.
He said: “The burglaries haven’t stopped, the stolen cars haven’t stopped, it’s crazy. I think it’s worse than before.”
According to NT Police, the city has seen a 22 per cent increase in assaults, a 28 per cent increase in domestic violence assaults, a 28 per cent increase in alcohol-related assaults and a 23 per cent increase in sexual assaults.
Clark said on his Facebook page that the anti-social behavior was difficult to track: “Just because it’s hot – the nights are warmer so they just stay out all night.”
But the concerned citizen says the police are not prepared for the increase in crime despite new measures such as the fence.
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Clark continued: “They don’t have enough police. You can’t do it. They are not ready. You can’t keep up now.”
“If you call the police, you’ll be lucky if they show up. All we know is that nothing will happen, that there will be no consequences – it will ignite.”