Call for CCTVs on street after beach assault at Torquay

THE rape of a woman at Torquay Beach has reignited calls for increased security along the Esplanade foreshore.

Video footage provided by several beachfront businesses has so far failed to identify any suspects in the attack which left a 33-year-old victim heavily traumatised last week.

Police and Torquay business owners have identified a lack of beachside CCTV cameras and overgrown bushes as two of the major crime enablers and have warned that until they are addressed, trouble will continue to strike.

FOR many years, tourism and personal business interests fuelled Torquay Progress Association President and La Mer Apartments owner Bob Smith's campaign for view-blocking vegetation to be pruned along the Esplanade.

But in recent times, a more sinister element has led he and other business owners to take a more urgent approach.

Mr Smith said while damage to tourism and the threat of storm damage remained of great concern, businesses were fed up with crime in the area and last week's assault was the catalyst for the change.

A petition, calling for the bushes to be trimmed back and undergrowth to be cleared, had already been distributed among dozens of Esplanade businesses and attracted hundreds of signatures yesterday.

Hervey Bay CIB Detective Sergeant Mick Polit said the lack of cameras on the beach side and the bushes which gave criminals "a place to hide" made investigating offences in the area particularly difficult.

He said CCTV vision was "often the only lead we get" and encouraged businesses and stake holders to push for cameras where needed.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said while there were no current plans to install cameras in Torquay, the council was " continually looking for grants and other funds to boost our network".