Ballarat detectives warn of lake precinct flashers

Warnings about snakes, water safety and sunburn are all common during the warmer months.

But now Ballarat people are being warned to keep an eye out for people who like to remove their clothes in public areas.

Police say Lake Wendouree, Victoria Park and the Botanical Gardens are known hot-spots for “flashers” over the years, and they have urged residents to report any dubious behaviour. 

The head of Ballarat’s Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigative Team, Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall, said flashers were a problem in Ballarat last summer.

He said SOCIT detectives charged a number of people with wilful and obscene exposure last summer, which ended a “series” of reported incidents.

“At this time of year, we do start to see an increase in these types of reports,” Detective Argall said.

“If people come across someone displaying this behaviour, we’re asking them to get a description of the person and, if they get into a car, any registration details.”

Detective Argall said people should not approach flashers or put themselves in danger, but any evidence they could gather would be of value to police.

“A lot of people carry phones with them when they’re walking and jogging, so if they are able to snap a picture that would help us,” he said.

“But we certainly don’t want anyone to put themselves in any sort of danger.”

Detective Argall said offenders faced embarrassment and jail time, citing several flashers over the past year who spent time behind bars.

He said offenders tended to expose themselves during the day, in wide-open public spaces, in order to be seen by “an audience”.

“They want people to see them – they want an audience,” Detective Argall said.

“That’s why we’re asking anyone who sees anything like that to call us so we can stop it.”

Anyone with information on flashers in Ballarat should call triple-zero immediately.

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