Peel St South a crime hotspot, say traders

A Ballarat business owner is fed up with rubbish, beer bottles, smashed windows and anti-social behavior around her business near the Bridge Mall. 

Tracey Hargreaves has been operating Absolute Yoga and Pilates at her studio on Peel Street South for about two and a half years. 

She said people leaving trash in the street and causing damage to shopfronts has been a never-ending battle since she moved in. 

“The window in the studio space next to ours that I have just taken over the lease for was smashed on Friday night,” she said. 

“It’s the second time it has happened since I’ve been here and it’s just not good enough.”

Ms Hargreaves said she has been in contact with Ballarat City Council and police about the issue but nothing has improved as a result of her complaints.  

“It's a crime hot spot that no one wants to know about,” she said. 

I even pulled up to work the other work day and there were guys smoking pipes out the front of my studio.

Tracey Hargreaves - Owner of Absolute Yoga and Pilates Ballarat

In March, 2016, Ballarat City Council announced a new pocket park would be constructed at the corner of Little Bridge Street and Peel Street South to improve the safety and livability of the area. 

However, construction of the pocket park has not yet commenced and Ms Hargreaves said shop owners in the area are crying out for change. 

“I would like to see better security like police conducting more patrols in cars or on foot, I would also like to see CCTV cameras put in.”

She said she understands homelessness in Ballarat is an issue but the traders in Little Bridge Street and Peel Street South do not have the ability to manage them.

“I know it's an issue and we have done fundraising and we are supportive of groups like the soup bus and shower bus,” she said. 

“But we can't deal with the negative impact of drugs and alcohol on our business doorstep.” 

Ballarat City Council were contacted for comment.