Call for parents to control teenagers

By CRAIG McTEAR

BRUCE Corrigan reckons parents need to take more of an interest in what their kids are up to.

Bruce, a Sawtell Progress Association vice-president, says this is the key to tackling some of Sawtell's crime problems.

"We are aware there is an anti-social problem in Sawtell, which seems to be confined to a small, troublesome group," he said.

"We're not suggesting it's a widespread malaise that's gone through the community, and we're not prepared to say it belongs to any one age group.

"It ranges from petty graffiti to broken spirit bottles on the footpath.

"We believe the problems start with certain parents of particular teenage boys. A lot of parents don't know where their children are at night particularly, and sadly, don't care.

"We have full confidence in the local police contingent, who, we believe, are doing a good, conscientious job, that is, within budgetary considerations.

"They have to cover Sawtell and Toormina, which is a growing area.

"I believe the police attitude is quite good.

"There is a youth liaison officer attached to Coffs Harbour Police Station, but that officer can't be expected to be a babysitter.

"We realise that the police themselves have constraints about how they deal with juvenile offenders."

Bruce said any move to establish Neighbourhood Watch could help the community to be more aware of troublespots.

"We hope the community gets behind it," he said.

The association had also helped in the planning stages for the Toormina Skatepark, which had provided an outlet for teenagers," he said.

Another Sawtell resident, John Wotherspoon, has organised a public meeting at the Sawtell Surf Club on Monday at 7pm, so the community can have a say about anti-social behaviour, and what steps can be taken to overcome it.

Only last month, angry Sawtell business owners spoke out about problems such as vandalism and break-ins.



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