SURVEILLANCE: Renee Pollitt is concerned about her neighbour's security cameras which overlook her back and front yard. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
SURVEILLANCE: Renee Pollitt is concerned about her neighbour's security cameras which overlook her back and front yard. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Pollitt family fed up with neighbourhood dispute

FEELING comfortable in your own home is something that should be guaranteed but it hasn't been that way for Renee Pollitt and her family.

Ms Pollitt said since moving into her Bundaberg home a year and a half ago, she had put up with ongoing problems with her next door neighbour which had left her feeling stressed and uncomfortable.

"I have had a court summons put on me for peace and good behaviour which ended up getting thrown out five days before we were due to appear," she said.

"There has been verbal abuse, we can't do anything in our backyard or front yard without something happening."

With five children, Ms Pollitt said the garden and front yard were a place of play and she was sick of the problems.

"My kids are between the ages of 4 and 12. They are outdoor kids and love to have fun," she said.

"They should be allowed to be active in and around their home but they are always being yelled at by the next-door neighbour.

"My boys accidentally kicked the footy over the fence one day and one of them jumped over to grab it.

"The neighbour came straight out to abuse them about it."

The NewsMail approached Ms Pollitt's neighbour, who declined to comment about the situation.

Ms Pollitt said she had tried speaking with the council and police about the matter but nothing had been resolved.

Bundaberg Acting Senior Sergeant Mick Ward said neighbour disputes were generally not a police matter unless violence ensued.

"Usually, if it is going to be turned into violence and can't be resolved by both parties, we will be called," Act Snr Sgt Ward said.

"If there is no crime being committed it is not a police matter, however we can provide advice about court proceedings and the mediation process," he said.

"If people find themselves in a dispute with their neighbours, they really need to try and resolve the matter themselves by having an adult conversation.

"We are not going to save the problems of the world because they can't be adults."

Ms Pollitt said there was also an issue of an electric fence wired attached to the fence adjoining the two houses and security cameras which appear to be pointed at her backyard.

SURVEILLANCE: Renee Pollitt is concerned about her neighbour's security cameras which overlook her back and front yard. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
SURVEILLANCE: Renee Pollitt is concerned about her neighbour's security cameras which overlook her back and front yard. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

"We were never told that there had been electricity wired into the fence," she said.

"We found out because we heard the zapping and saw the yellow tag attached to it.

"There are two out of three cameras that are pointing at our house."

"It is stressful and bloody horrible. We feel intimidated in our own yard."

According to Edwina Rowan of Charlton Lawyers, legalities differed case by case when it came to security cameras being used on a property.

"Generally it is not illegal for someone to take photographs or use a video camera directed at their neighbour's home, provided it does not amount to stalking or they have trespassed on their neighbours land to install the camera," Ms Rowan said.

"There is a provision in the Criminal Code that prohibits recording another person in circumstances where a reasonable adult would expect to be afforded privacy but this is limited to private acts including showering or bathing, using a toilet or another activity when the person is in a state of undress," she said.

"It does not usually extend to neighbourhood disputes."

Ms Rowan said if a dispute could not be resolved by both parties in a civil manner, there were a number of other remedies available.

"The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal QCAT has processes available to resolve disputes about the cost division of dividing fences and disputes about overhanging trees," she said.

"There is also a process in Queensland where a neighbour can apply for a peace and good behaviour order if they are in fear that their property will be damaged, they will be injured or they have been threatened."



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