PM calls for Coolangatta curfew
A MANDATORY curfew for under-17s could help ease youth crime in Coolangatta, according to%Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey. Ms Stuckey wants "safe houses" provided for youths detained after a nominated curfew time, possibly 11pm, where youths could be held under qualified supervision until collected by parents, who would pay a fine. The Liberal MP yesterday called on NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh to give the curfew serious consideration. Ms Stuckey also called for an immediate review of a Cross Border Memorandum of Understanding signed by Mr Iemma and Queensland former premier Peter Beattie On the Tweed during this year's NSW state election campaign. Ms Stuckey said the memorandum was deficient because it did not prioritise under-resourced." Policing and a cross-border police taskforce to address youth violence was urgently needed. She also said it was essential that Tweed and Gold Coast police computer systems be made entirely compatible so that police intelligence could be accessed and shared quickly and easily. Ms Stuckey, who provocatively called for a "thug-proof fence" earlier this year to stop Tweed gangs causing trouble across the border, walked the Coolangatta "mean streets" on Friday night with a Today Tonight current affairs TV show crew, visiting the East Dutton Street scene of the bashing last month of an off-duty police officer by a gang which included an 11-year-old boy. A spokeswoman for Mr Iemma said the NSW government was willing to examine proposals to review the Memorandum of Understanding, although curfews had been previously considered for Orange, in the central west, and it was decided not to proceed. "We are happy to look at any detailed proposals," the spokeswoman said, although she noted there had been no representations on curfews from Tweed MP Geoff Provest. Mr Provest said that although he supports a review of the Memorandum of Understanding, he does not believe a youth curfew would solve the problem. "I'm a strong believer in looking deeply at why these kids are out on the streets, rather than a curfew," Mr Provest said. "I'm not dismissing it (a curfew), but I'm unaware of anywhere it's been successful." Ms Stuckey also called for police reserve squads, comprised of retired police or security guards, to help boost the police presence. "I am aware that regular discussions take place between sen- ior police from both Queensland and NSW, but what is needed is a better on-the-ground response to deal with youth who are border-hopping to escape their crimes," Ms Stuckey said. "Currently there is not a functional sharing of information, nor communication between the police services. "It is imperative a review of police communication protocols is undertaken and given priority in areas close to the border." Ms Stuckey also called for reviews of juvenile justice legislation "to make youth offenders more accountable", enhanced police powers to deal with juveniles and for operational police vacancies to be filled as a priority. "People are just sitting around saying what can we do, but these are worthwhile suggestions," she said. Ms Stuckey said she would be writing to Mr Iemma and Ms Bligh outlining her proposals.