Plan to make streets safer in Shandee’s memory
THE distance from Harrup Park Country Club to Boddington Street is short.
But just after midnight on February 9, 2013 a young woman was murdered in a frenzied stabbing attack as she made her way home from work.
Dark streets and dim street lights hampered CCTV visibility, ensuring nobody saw Shandee Blackburn's attacker.
Six years on, Shandee's mother, Vicki Blackburn, is doing everything she can to ensure the dark streets of Mackay don't claim another victim.
Alongside Mackay police, Ms Blackburn today launched a campaign to make the community safer.
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"During the inquest (into Shandee's death), Senior Sergeant Nigel Dalton did a safety audit and he highlighted areas where safety had been improved and the marked difference that it made," she said.
"He also highlighted areas that could be improved or that are blackspots."
In his submission to the inquest, Sgt Dalton identified a number of high-risk zones, including Fifth Lane and two secluded rubbish dump sites where "somebody would be dragged in there … and we would not know … for some time"
Ms Blackburn said the aim of the campaign was to bring the community together to take a proactive approach to keeping the streets safe.
She wants people to be able to walk home at night, but she also wants them to know the risks and avoid dangerous areas.
"It is not just for people in situations like us. It is also smaller things, like home invasion and theft and workplace safety," she said.
A key focus will be broadening the CCTV camera alliance.
"There has been much made of the CCTV in Shandee's case. For us to be able to view that … we knew where her last steps (were)," she said.
Constable Steve Smith said community CCTV resources were integral to a number of investigations.