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‘I can’t wait to get out of valley’: Inside the sleepy Queensland town that has seen a 350 per cent rise in crime — and locals say the ice epidemic is to blame

  • Finch Hatton — the sleepy town in the Mackay Region — has seen crime rate rise
  • Residents are on edge after a number of businesses were targeted by thieves 
  • Business owner Chris Pollard claims rampant drug use is to blame for the spike


A once quiet town in rural Queensland has become a haven for criminals – and local residents claim a devastating ice epidemic is to blame.

Finch Hatton General Store was targeted by thieves last month, they managed to take off with $15,000 worth of cigarettes

Her store was ransacked one night in August. The thugs managed to take off with $15,000 worth of cigarettes.

‘They are all on edge. They want to feel safe but they can’t.

‘The fear is we might get targeted again.’

Ms Jones said she had never seen crime rates this bad in the six years she’s lived there.

The break-in was similar to what happened to the service station, which was hit by thieves just a few weeks earlier, Ms Jones said.

Valley Rural Services owner Chris Pollard told the Courier Mail ice was to blame for the spike in crime.

‘I can’t wait to get out of the Valley, and I never thought I would say that.

Business owners have been forced to install extra security after a string of break-ins

‘We never used to lock our doors or cars (but) people don’t feel safe here.’

There has been an increase in the number of drug-related arrests in the Finch Hatton division since 2003, Queensland Crime Statistics show.

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