Doug Collins is moving to Pine Creek to escape the relentless crime occurring on his beloved Katherine.
One of Katherine’s first aldermen, elected to the town’s first-ever council in 1978, the long term resident of Fordham Court in Katherine East has packed up his belongings and left this week.
After almost 40 years in Katherine, he says he still loves the town, but cannot live here any longer.
He is not the only one he claims, he says four of his neighbours will be gone by the end of the year as well.
He said they all victims of the rise of petty crime in the streets of Katherine.
I’ve never lived with this anxiety in my life, ever. I don’t want to leave, I have got to.- Doug Collins
“The place is like a rubbish dump,” Mr Collins said.
“Everything you think could happen is happening in that cul-de-sac.
“I’ve never lived with this anxiety in my life, ever,” he said.
From graffiti on cars, theft, vandalism and rubbish constantly strewn across the pavement, Mr Collins said Fordham Court is an easy target – most of the residents are pensioners.
“Police are often called out,” he said.
“I pick up rocks that have been thrown onto our motor cars.
“It is a common occurrence to see rubbish all over the ground, bins tipped over and fires,” he said.
Mr Collins has been waiting for “some months” to obtain a vacant flat in Pine Creek.
Leaving Katherine was a last, desperate attempt to leave behind the crime.
“I don’t want to leave, I have got to,” he said.
“I was married here, my three daughters were born here.
“I am really sad now. I have moved before, but always of my own volition, I have never been forced to,” he said.
Mayor Fay Miller told council last week she had met with senior police and the NT Chief Minister’s office in relation to a rise in public drunkenness and anti-social behaviour.
Mayor Miller has questioned the removal of police from bottle shop duties.
The NT Government is recruiting more police auxiliaries to do the same job.
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