Victims of crime; Kristine and Matthew Ham, with their children Joseph 3, Harriet 1 and Elizabeth 5. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Victims of crime; Kristine and Matthew Ham, with their children Joseph 3, Harriet 1 and Elizabeth 5. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Her children just want to know they are safe in home

Kristine Ham spends most nights reassuring her young children the "baddies" that broke into their home are in jail, despite not knowing if they are.

Her children, aged 5, 3 and 1, want to know they are safe in their own home.

In early July, Mrs Ham and her children were forced to watch as a group of children threatened her husband, Matthew, with a "gun" when he tried to stop them stealing the family's car.

 

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About 2.30am, the Hams woke to a loud crash of their back doors being broken open, before the revving of their ute's engine confirmed they had been broken into.

Mr Ham ran to the front of their Mundingburra home to check if the thieves were gone when they returned for the family's second car. While they weren't successful in stealing it, one of the youths threatened Mr Ham with a "gun" and said: "You want to be a hero, mate?"

Mrs Ham said the experience had traumatised her children.

"It's really hard to tell a three-year-old why someone was in was in our house when, you know, that's our safe place, that's our house," she said.

Victims of crime; Kristine and Matthew Ham, with their children Joseph 3, Harriet 1 and Elizabeth 5. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Victims of crime; Kristine and Matthew Ham, with their children Joseph 3, Harriet 1 and Elizabeth 5. Picture: Alix Sweeney

"We just have to reassure (our children). (We tell them) the baddies are in jail whether they are or whether they aren't, we don't know."

Mrs Ham said in the days following the theft, their car was seen in "just about every suburb" driving dangerously, swerving at cyclists and more.

Yesterday, she joined LNP Mundingburra candidate Glenn Doyle as the LNP promised more than 60 new cops in the Townsville police district over four years if elected.

She said more needed to be done to stop young offenders before their behaviour got to this point.

Growing up in Townsville, Mrs Ham said she would often ride her bike to school and play in the street until after dark.

"There is no way I would let my kids do that now," she said.

"After it starts getting dark, we lock up, close the gates."

Victims of crime; Kristine and Matthew Ham, had thieves break in and steal their dual cab ute. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Victims of crime; Kristine and Matthew Ham, had thieves break in and steal their dual cab ute. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Mr Doyle, who made the announcement with LNP deputy leader Tim Mander, said the new police would help the people of Townsville feel safer.

"We'll also make sure that they're appropriately resourced and that's really important that if you're going to provide additional police that you need to also follow up with vehicles, radios, tasers, breath-testing devices, all those sort of things that allow the police to do their work," the long-serving police inspector said.

Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the state government had already put more than 100 new police officers into the city.

"We fast-tracked 53 of those," he said.

"We've also put in $40m into a range of projects into breaking that cycle of crime."

Originally published as The ongoing trauma for young family after break-in



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