There is never a good time for crime. But news that not one, but two Launceston small businesses were targeted by thieves overnight is disappointing to say the least.
Detectives believe the same offenders broke into Youngtown Pharmacy and Trevallyn Pharmacy on Monday, stealing medicine and cash. It's the latest in a long list of petty and more serious crimes targeting small businesses, at a time when many are already struggling to stay afloat. Last month more than $24,000 worth of stock was stolen from Launceston's Mac Shop, after bricks were thrown through the front door.
A week before that a worksite belonging to Sheriff Civil Contracting had two shipping containers broken into, with items stolen and machinery damaged. The cost to the business was estimated at more than $30,000. The list, unfortunately, goes on.
The flow on affects of crimes such as these are far felt. Not only does it cost the business financially, it also slows productivity. Not to mention the psychological impacts that come from the added stress, and for the unfortunate workers who often get caught up in the middle of targeted attacks.
At the peak of coronavirus lockdowns in March and April, Tasmania experienced a slight reduction in crime rates - up to 10 per cent in some cases.
However, the rate of business burglaries remained steady. While small business owners are always encouraged to ensure they are taking all the necessary measures to better protect themselves, this will only go so far. Particularly when there are those in the community hell bent on breaking the law.
We often won't hear about the motives or such offenders until they are brought to justice in the courts. But almost always, the end does not justify the means. And for the businesses caught up in such crime, true justice might never be served.
It's a common practice for police to appeal for pubic information when such crimes are committed. After all, usually someone in the community will know something.
We all have a responsibility to remain vigilant when it comes to crimes, and most importantly to report any useful information to police.