Police put stop to rock throwers

POLICE have declared an end to the dangerous rock throwing which has put drivers on Tweed Coast Road at risk.

In the past two months at least 13 victims have come forward, many of them telling how their cars were damaged or almost run off the road after having rocks hurled at them near Barclay Drive in Casuarina.

The Tweed Daily News has been campaigning for victims to come forward and for more police patrols in the area in a bid to stop the rock throwing.

Tweed/Byron Police crime prevention officer Senior Constable Andrew Eppelstun yesterday confirmed several teenagers had been caught throwing water bombs at cars last month and since they were spoken to by police, the rock throwing appeared to have ceased.

Snr Const Eppelstun said on August 30, two people were driving along Clothiers Creek Road when one of them was hit in the face with a water bomb. The driver then pulled over, jumped out of the car to search for the offenders and managed to catch one of them.

Police were called and arrived on the scene, where they managed to track down five other culprits who appeared to have been using the bicycle paths in the area as escape routes.

The six offenders were all teenage boys aged between 13 and 17.

Snr Const Eppelstun said the boys each received a caution and were released in accordance with the Young Offenders Act.

However, he said police did uncover a large pile of rocks near where the boys were caught. "After this it stopped, absolutely 100 per cent," he said. "We haven't had one rock-throwing incident at Coast Road since.

"In all likelihood it was them. We have evidence to suggest it could have been them. I'm not saying that is the end of it but for now it has certainly stopped."

Snr Const Eppelstun said police appreciated the efforts of the Tweed Daily News in encouraging victims to keep reporting the attacks which helped to identify the rock throwing as a problem and led police to the affected area.

"A little bit of publicity doesn't hurt any investigation," he said. "It appears to be the end of it in the short-term at least and we are happy with it as a result.

"I wouldn't necessarily say it was due to extra patrols in the area, but it was only a matter of time before they got caught."

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