It was the streams of blood which were most shocking.
Private photographs taken by Yvonne Gitsham of her husband’s battered head after a sickening assault late last month take your breath away.
Commercial break-ins and petty crime, anti social behaviour in the streets – these are unfortunately common place in Katherine these days.
Police said on their own numbers, such crime is on the decline.
Perhaps people aren’t reporting them.
We hear many stories of frustration from people about delays calling for police help.
Some say they just give up.
But the violence visited inside the supposed safety of the Gitsham’s own Katherine East home – in the form of blows which rained down on Mr Gitsham’s head – for no apparent reason, has rocked the town.
Police are doing their best, no-one doubts that in the slightest, but they have little to go on about this violent attacker who remains on the loose.
Someone knows who it is, even if it is a loved one, a family member, this person obviously need help before they do something much worse, we urge them to give them up.
Police and the government are in the habit of offering rewards when they have nowhere else to turn in their investigation.
They say they are long way from that yet.
Even so, we urge them to consider offering a reward right now, without delay.
We all want this person brought to justice as swiftly as possible.
Whether official records say crime is going down or not, the fact remains that people are fearful.
And not just because of what happened to Bevan Gitsham.
This has been building for years.
Short term we can recruit more police in the form of auxiliaries for bottle shops, or new public housing officers as are on their way as well but long-term we know the problems are much greater.
Alcohol abuse is not just a Katherine problem, it is NT-wide.
Palmerston, Darwin, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs – they are grappling with the same issues as us.
A meeting was held in Katherine way back in April which was supposed to address community concerns about crime.
Most agree that meeting, although 300 people attended, was a waste of time.
But more meetings were promised, that still needs to happen.
This must be a community-wide response.
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