Caravan park security in spotlight as thefts continue

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Caravan park theft stings grey nomads
All quiet at the Pialba Caravan Park. PIC: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Sadly, thefts from caravan parks and camping areas – particularly over the festive season – appear to be a growing problem.

There are few things more likely to cast a shadow over a trip than having a fishing rod stolen, or a bike, or a fridge. As well as the loss of the items themselves, there is the loss of innocence. It can be devastating to have that inherent sense of security and wellbeing shattered.

Pialba Caravan Park in Queensland’s Hervey Bay is one operation that has acknowledged the seriousness of the issue, and taken extra steps to protect grey nomads and other travellers.

Following a reported spike in crime and petty theft at caravan parks along the Hervey Bay Esplanade, Fraser Coast Regional Council announced that a security guard would be stationed at the popular foreshore venue every night over the Christmas and New Year period.

Director of organisational services, Keith Parsons, told the Fraser Coast Chronicle that the council wanted everyone staying in the region to have a positive experience.

“Safety and security at caravan parks is of paramount importance to council,” he said. “Council has a well-established relationship with police to combat crime across the region and we encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious or who is a victim of crime to report it to the police.”

Mr Parsons said security guards and a growing CCTV network were used to support the work of police.

“The CCTV systems in beachfront parks have recently been upgraded with more works planned in the future, while a master planning process will examine a range of issues including security measures and fencing,” he said.

Mr Parsons said the work would take some time but he was hopeful a security guard at Pialba would deter opportunistic thieves in the short-term.

Police said that portable fridges, food and drinks were among the items regularly targeted at caravan parks.

The Fraser Coast Chronicle spoke to a number of travellers at the Pialba Caravan Park who stressed that crime at caravan parks was not unique to Hervey Bay and occurred across the country.

Many felt that, although some van parks could take extra security measures, campers also needed to take responsibility for their valuables. They told the Chronicle that people must ensure their property was either locked away or chained up to avoid becoming a victim of opportunistic crime.

  • Do you think caravan parks could do more to prevent theft, or do you think it is up to individual campers to take sensible precautions to deter opportunists? Comment below.
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13 Responses to Caravan park security in spotlight as thefts continue

  1. Campers need to take responsibility for their belongings but Caravan Parks should also have a duty of care to do all they can to keep their patrons and surroundings safe at all times.

  2. We stay annually at the Pialba park, and have escorted groups of youths out of the park at risk of personal injury. I firmly believe that the Caravan Park section needs to be fenced off to stop petty criminals from wandering through to park and taking anything they want.

    • Trouble is that a boom gate won’t stop them and they will cut fences if desperate enough.

  3. We try not to stress to much about possible theft of items as it detracts from overall holiday. Keep what we can’t afford to lose of of sight or looked away. The rest we leave out. Haven’t had anything taken yet. Basically you are responsible for your belongings caravan parks shouldn’t have to patrol to see what’s left out.
    It’s probably not always the locals taking things from caravan parks. Were is it written all caravaners and patrons of caravan parks are honest.

  4. I do everthing possible to prevent being a victim including chaining all movable items. I even bought an alarm but they tried to remove that as well when there last time. There does need to be a permanent solution as I for one will not return with the current situation.

  5. The council caravan parks on the esplanade have no security fences or gates. Anyone can wander through and it’s time the council fenced off these parks and had security gates for access.

  6. Absolute scum who steal from van parks. People go there to relax not have a bad holiday experience.
    Unfortunately van parks are easy easy pickings for scum. They often are staying there themselves. Watch when other people leave for a day trip then go help themselves.
    Another reason to avoid van parks. Never ever had trouble or theft out on the free camps

  7. At least it is good to see a council taking some action, by placing a security person on site, albeit for just that period.

  8. I don’t use caravan parks. Never had anything stolen (fingers crossed) yet but I do use stainless wire and a small padlock through the things we leave outside. Being friendly with neighbours also helps.

  9. unfortunately people go into caravan parks for security, but the caravan parks cannot supply it, in fact there probably attracting thieves as they have a very captive bunch of victims all in one small area close to town, remember thieves are lazy arseholes and don’t want to work hard for there ill gotten gains, maybe stay away from caravan parks as you are not guaranteed of any security and stay in free camps where the people are nicer anyway and look after each other better.

  10. Pialba offers beachfront on one side and street side on the other. Fences will remove the very thing which makes the park so attractive to campers. As patrons we need to be vigilant and responsible – securing or shutting away valuables is the only thing to do.

  11. Pialba offers beachfront on one side and street side on the other. Fences will remove the very thing which makes the park so attractive to campers. As patrons we need to be vigilant and responsible – securing or shutting away valuables is the only thing to do.

  12. We use old chair’s and table not worth pinching, and everything else is locked away.

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