Police investigate four armed robberies in region

POLICE have revealed they are chasing leads on four armed robberies in Gladstone, as the man who used a handgun to hold-up Rod's Food Market remains at large.

Capricornia District Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said despite a 50% reduction in armed robberies so far this year on the previous year, there were four offences that remained open and under current investigation.

"Every incident of armed robbery is concerning to police," he said.

"We have had four reported armed robberies in Capricornia this year to date."

While there was a 62% drop in total robberies in Capricornia this year compared to 2012-13, helped by a concerted police effort to target and reduce armed robberies, Det Insp Shadlow said there was more businesses could do to safeguard themselves.

"Soft targets are premises which are open late, are isolated, have poor lighting and have only single staff members working at night," he said.

"Crime prevention officers engage with these businesses to 'target harden' them."

Det Insp Shadlow said armed robbery offences were of particular concern, due to the lasting impact they can have on victims, where violence or threats of violence are used.

Romans and Romans Lawyers' Hunter Trotman, a solicitor who dealt with applications for Queensland Victims of Crime support, said the current support system was set up to assist victims of physically violent crime, not necessarily armed-robbery victims left shaken, although there were some exceptions.

"It's (support system) really designed for people who are victims of physically violent crime," Mr Trotman said.

"If there's some type of diagnosis of shock or PTSD (then assistance may be available)."

Det Insp Shadlow said drug use had historically been a strong determining factor in armed robberies carried out.

Rod's Food Market in Gladstone was robbed by a masked gunman last Monday.

Topics:  armed robbery capricornia crime gladstone police handgun

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