Cameras identify Cooly's thugs
THE scene of last month's fatal bashing in Coolangatta will soon have a second CCTV camera.
And an extra camera is just one measure Coolangatta Police, together with the Gold Coast City Council, are taking in an effort to combat the area's rising violence.
Duty sergeant Bill Kaz said they have identified the alleyway beside Big Chief Burgers, which connects Griffith Street and Chalk Street, as a late-night danger zone.
“The Dutton Street laneway is where we need to improve surveillance in relation to offender identification,” Sgt Kaz said.
“The offences are happening against the back of the buildings (in Chalk Street).”
Coolangatta Police currently have a limited view of Chalk Street from a camera installed on the top of the high-rise Points North.
“The offenders are smart, they're running down the side of the buildings to stay in the shadows,” Sgt Kaz said.
“They know the cameras are there.”
As part of the crackdown, the alley will also have better lighting and be locked after hours.
“They're going to implement locking the gates for less transition traffic between Coolangatta and Chalk Street.”
The immediate area was also the scene of last weekend's brutal bashing, the victim of which remains in a critical condition in Gold Coast Hospital.
The offenders from Saturday night and last month's fatal attack, Sgt Kaz said, were both identified through closed circuit TV footage.
“The last two major offences we used straight away to identify the witnesses and offenders.
“It gives us another policing tool to identify an offender specifically, and it's used in court cases as well.
“It's a great system, but without support from City Council, offender identification would be very much limited. We rely on them to provide that for us.”
The extra camera, Sgt Kaz predicted, would alleviate 95 per cent of problems on Chalk Street.
Sgt Kaz also revealed three out of the past four major incidents in Coolangatta were by Tweed Heads men.
Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey has called on the Queensland Government to take more action against these violent street crimes.
“All the Government has done is bring the 'One Punch Can Kill' campaign out of mothballs,” Ms Stuckey said.
“On its own, this campaign can only have limited effect as it's a small part of an overall strategy that is needed to combat this problem.”
Ms Stuckey said these incidents will continue until a whole-of-community approach is taken.
“Only with a combination of education campaigns about the dangers of substance abuse, enough police on patrol and tougher sentences that fit the crime will we reduce these vicious attacks,” she said.
“Coolangatta was, for decades, known as a safe family holiday destination, and we do not want to head in the same direction as Surfers Paradise.”