(Chroming: The act of inhaling household chemicals and other volatile substances to get high)
GOLD COAST: As reported by the Gold Coast Bulletin today, the local community is at breaking point as Surfers Paradise MP, John-Paul Langbroek, reports an unprecedented number of youth chroming, drug-use, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
Langbroek reports that youths are congregating in Broadbeach Nikiforides Park to chrome and use drugs. These youths are causing disruptions to the surrounding community whilst under the influence.
Recent incidents have shown an alarming rise in brazen and especially disturbing acts that is clearly more than reckless, bored teenager behaviour.
- The nearby Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club had to close their toilets to end the anti-social behaviour occurring there. In retaliation, youths stole cap start guns to potentially intimidate residents and threw a besser block at the gas main causing the whole street to be shut off.
- An individual has reportedly spat in the face of a staff’s mother-in-law at the Spar supermarket.
- Others have urinated outside the Broadbeach Kindy and swearing while the children were in the centre and at people competing at the Broadbeach Bowls Club.
- Syringes have been found on the beach and in the park, along with litter and derogatory graffiti at the Labrador State School and across local murals celebrating multiculturalism and Peace Day.
Information for Retailers
The National Retail Association is aware that this problem is not isolated to the Gold Coast with dozens of retail businesses across Queensland and Brisbane City reporting issues of Volatile Substance Misuse (VSM) via our SafeCity Network.
Retailers have reported that Rexona deodorant cans continue to be highly targeted for chroming purposes with some outlets having over 30 cans stolen in a day. Not limited to Rexona, other inhalants include petrol, glue, solvents and paint.
Chroming has had a direct effect in increased crime, such as stealing and other property offences, and has caused concerns over child protection and welfare.
In response, The Brisbane City Child Protection and Investigation Unit have prepared the Communities Against Substance Misuse project (CASM) with the National Retail Association.
CASM offers a free training package for retailers which includes advice and tips on:
- product placement to better protect stock from theft
- how to identify, approach and speak with people suspected of misusing VSM products
- how to reduce the chance of your store being targeted for the safety of staff and customers.
Contact CASM or the National Retail Association for your free training package:
One Potential Solution
The National Retail Association encourages retailers to consider using dummy cans on shelves in problematic stores as opposed to removing cans from shelves or
placing them behind counters which can negatively impact sales.
Legitimate customers bring the dummy can to the counter to purchase the real product.
This could become an industry-wide strategy if it proves effective.
The potential benefits for retailers:
- allows us to preserve the consumer experience and legitimate sales
- could be rolled out across brands, competitors and the entire aerosol portfolio
- doesn’t require cans to be taken off shelves, which can negatively impact sales
- doesn’t require as much investment in security cages and staff to man these.
How to report these crimes
Retailers are encouraged to report instances of chroming, drug use and anti-social behaviour causing disruption or property damage directly to the Police
via Policelink on 131 444 or using the online form.
If the situation is an emergency, please call Triple Zero (000).
If you are experiencing frequent occurrences of chroming-related offences in your store or area, contact CASM at CPIU.BrisbaneCentral@police.qld.gov.au.
About the SafeCity Network
The National Retail Association’s SafeCity Network brings together retailers, government and law enforcement to better inform and equip retailers to reduce retail crime.
On 1 March 2018, the NRA launched the SafeCity Network as a trial in Brisbane aimed at increasing collaboration and insight between retailers to reduce retail crime. By reducing crime over the long term, the program aims to attract more shoppers and visitors, and ultimately create a more vibrant, safer retail precincts.
Participants in the SafeCity Network gain access to regular crime alerts and bulletins based on real-world intelligence shared by other retailers.