Meeting calls for two-state police co-operation
AN overwhelming majority of people who attended last night's public crime meeting would like to see NSW and Queensland police conduct combined patrols.
The proposal for a three month trial of patrols involving both states' police was put forward by Tweed/Byron police boss, Superintendent Michael Kenny, who asked for a show of hands from the 100-strong crowd to demonstrate their support for the idea.
Supt Kenny said he would continue to push for the trial of combined patrols despite the notable absence of Queensland police representatives who had been invited to attend the meeting.
The meeting, held at Tweed Heads Civic Centre, was called by police to discuss a recent rise in youth gang crime on the Tweed. It was attended by council representatives, youth workers, business owners, teachers, Neighbourhood Watch and concerned residents.
"We need to look at streamlining the work we do and getting rid of that imaginary line that is the border," Supt Kenny said.
Crime manager Inspector Greg Carey provided crime data at the meeting, including statistics showing an increase in youth crime in Tweed Heads and Kingscliff.
He said police were aware of five gangs operating in the area the Coomicubs, DNS, DLUX, BHQ and Straight Edge.
Insp Carey said stealing cars was primarily a youth crime and that following the recent arrest of several "youth gang members", the rate of stolen cars in the Tweed was cut from 13 to three in just one week.
"There is a strong perception that police can't touch%juveniles... that is not the case," said Insp Carey, who went on to say that there had already been 776 legal%actions taken against juveniles in 2008.
Supt Kenny requested community help in stamping out gang-related crime and encouraged people to utilise Crime Stoppers. "We as a community collectively need to take ownership and deal with it," he said. Another initiative proposed by the police included the use of Non-association Orders which allow police to restrict those convicted of a crime from associating certain people who may lead them back to crime.
One woman questioned this legislation, which she said would be difficult to enforce.
"You can't stop young%people from hanging out with their friends, which is what they are going to do," she said.
"How on earth are you going to police that?"