Juvenile crime 'out of control'

A SECURITY guard with 20 years' experience believes it is only a matter of time before the nightly mayhem on the streets of Tweed Heads, Kingscliff and Cabarita leads to someone being killed.

The Ballina man, who wants to remain anonymous, has worked in security for nearly 20 years. He said the levels of violence and abuse he regularly witnessed were the worst he had ever seen.

And it was largely juveniles involved, he said, who felt they were beyond the reach of the law.

“The ferocity of the fights with these kids under the influence of drugs and alcohol is scary,” he said.

“Some of the attacks resemble scenes of wild animals on TV.”

Teenagers stealing and driving around in cars and heavy vehicles were “an accident waiting to happen, probably to some poor innocent motorist”.

He stressed such incidents were not confined to Ballina but occurred all over the Far North Coast.

“I've seen similar incidents in Tweed Heads, Kingscliff and Cabarita," he said.

“I've had mountain bikes thrown at me at youth week events in Mullumbimby.”

The tragic event at Mullumbimby High School recently came as no surprise, he said.

“Many of these teens have no respect for themselves, for the police or other people.”

The problems are not a result of poor policing, he believes, but are caused by failures in the legal system, in education, and parental negligence.

Some of the incidents the guard said had occurred in Ballina included children as young as 14 stealing cars and heavy vehicles and driving on the roads.

Another incident involved a man being ambushed by six teenagers brandishing lumps of wood when he stopped to help another who was lying in the gutter - as a decoy, he says. His dog chased the attackers off.

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