FED UP: Senior Sergeant Andrew Gillies says trespassers take up valuable resources.
FED UP: Senior Sergeant Andrew Gillies says trespassers take up valuable resources. Helen Spelitis

Security boost at former Asylum for the Insane

AUTHORITIES have issued a warning to would-be 'ghost hunters' trespassing at the former Goodna Asylum for the Insane; stay away or risk being punished.

It comes amid a security beef-up in response to a new trend with large groups caught trying to sneak in.

For years police have wasted countless man hours chasing away teens and thrill seekers from the facility that might have a dark past but is now a safe-haven for those dealing with mental health issues.

This year the precinct has experienced a spike in uninvited visitors with police stepping up patrols and handing out fines to groups from Brisbane, and as far as the Gold Coast.

Now the police and West Moreton Hospital Health Service, which manages the property, will step up their efforts to keep the intruders out.

The State Government has been forced to spend taxpayers' dollars on heightened security at The Park, Centre for Mental Health, repairing destroyed fencing, upgrading CCTV and reviewing public access points.

 

 

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service Security Officer Matthew Hanson (left) with Emergency Manager Luke Trevethan
West Moreton Hospital and Health Service Security Officer Matthew Hanson (left) with Emergency Manager Luke Trevethan Linda Stevens

Senior Sergeant Andrew Gillies said it wasted police time.

"While we are patrolling for these trespassers, we could be patrolling for other things," Sen Sgt Gillies said.

 

He said the police would increase patrols and issue fines to anyone found inside.

Those who trespass at The Park risk a $243 fine.

 

An Aerial shot of the The Park precinct, originally named as the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, opened in 1864.
An Aerial shot of the The Park precinct, originally named as the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, opened in 1864. Facebook

West Moreton has plans to increase the number of CCTV cameras and will review the public access points to the facility.

Interim Chief Executive Dr Kerrie Freeman said dealing with trespassing soaked up valuable resources that could be better spent on the region's healthcare.

"Even more importantly, The Park is a place where many people are temporarily living as they recover and seek treatment for their mental health issues," she said. "Trespassers are not only wasting the time of police and Queensland Health staff, they are intruding where people live."



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