Crime Wave Prompts Keperra Sports Club to Divert Funds From Essential Services to Security

Keperra West Arana Hills Rugby League
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The West Arana Hills Rugby League Football Club in Keperra has made the difficult decision to divert a portion of its funding towards bolstering security measures in response to a surge in criminal activities in their area. 

The Club, which relies on grants from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund, has decided that diverting funds away from essential services is necessary at this point time to protect their facilities from theft and vandalism.

Anne-Maree Davis, the secretary of the West Arana Hills Rugby League Football Club, explained that the Club had recently installed four security cameras using the grant money. The decision was prompted by a series of break-ins and incidents of stolen vehicles in the local area. 

Ms. Davis lamented that the funds allocated to security could have been used for other beneficial purposes, but the club’s limited resources necessitated a balancing act between security and other critical needs, such as the development of a multimedia room.

According to reports, more than 20 not-for-profit groups, including Men’s Sheds and sports clubs, have also utilised some of their funds to cover security-related expenses. These funds are supposed to help promote health, well-being, and leisure activities for Queensland communities but the organisations are grappling with the pressing issue of escalating crime rates.

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Similarly, the Atherton Men’s Shed, an organization supporting retired individuals and those struggling with mental health issues, had experienced multiple break-ins before applying for the grant. 

Glyn Mitchell, the president of the Men’s Shed, expressed sadness that the funds intended for power tools and equipment had to be redirected to enhance security measures. The safety of their valuable community assets compelled them to prioritise security despite the urgent need for other resources. The not-for-profit groups also acknowledged the need for security enhancements to protect their facilities from burglaries and vandalism. 

As community groups struggle to navigate the rising tide of crime, Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll assured the public of the Queensland Police Service’s commitment to safety. She emphasised the proactive efforts of police officers in conducting intelligence-driven patrols and maintaining a strong presence in communities.

The Gambling Community Benefit Fund, established in 1994, has provided over $1.1 billion in grants to support more than 66,000 organizations. The next round of funding applications will open next month, offering an opportunity for community and sporting groups to seek financial assistance for various projects.

Published 4-July-2023