New lowdown on Gold Coast high-rise crime

A new analysis of crime concentration in Gold Coast high-rises shows buildings with mixed tenure residents record more crime compared to short-term tenure buildings.

The report, titled Risky Facilities, has been published by the Australian Institute of Criminology in association with Griffith University.

It analysed 125 residential properties with more than three storeys at Surfers Paradise and found buildings with long-term residents recorded considerably lower amounts of crime than short-term or mixed tenures.

“Overall, buildings with higher levels of place management and guardianship are associated with lower recorded crime counts, although anomalies can be observed,’’ lead author Dr Michael Townsley from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice said.

“While we see evidence of a downward trend in crime as for higher levels of guardianship at long-term and mixed residential buildings, this isn’t the case in buildings with short-term residents.”

Buildings catering for short-term residents (hotels, resorts, holiday lets) tended to have higher levels of place management (formal surveillance), but lower levels of guardianship on average. This increased place management appears to be a result of holiday- makers wanting to “turn off” and being more relaxed about securing their property while on holiday.

“The results of this study point to the importance of understanding how place managers can encourage guardianship by residents at mixed and short-term residential buildings in particular, and how guardianship and place management can better interact at these facilities to fortify crime control,’’ Dr Townsley said.

“While not the focus of this study, there are implications for the tourism industry.

“Improving place management at facilities likely to host crime (short-term and mixed-term tenure buildings) will have a significant impact on the reputation and enjoyment of tourists visiting Surfers Paradise.

“Tourism industry stakeholders need to work in collaboration with crime prevention and the local council to mitigate risk.”