Couple attacked with beer bottle

TWO Coffs Harbour youths will face court after allegedly attacking a couple and brandishing a beer bottle at the face of the male victim.

About 1am on Sunday, a 22-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman were walking near the intersection of Earl Street and Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour, when they noticed three youths on bikes further down the road.

The youths allegedly made rude remarks to the couple and a short time later confronted the pair again in Brelsford Park where they attempted to rob them.

Fearful for their safety, the woman called triple 0 but as she spoke to the operator, she says one of the youths grabbed her phone from her hand with such force she received a cut to her ear.

One of the youths was allegedly holding a beer bottle, which he then swung at the male’s face, missing, before throwing the bottle directly at his face. A passer-by intervened in the attack and the youths reportedly fled.

Police arrived on the scene and immediately located two of the juveniles, aged 17 and 14 from Coffs Harbour, and both were arrested.

The 14-year-old male was charged with steal from person and intimidation while the 17-year-old male was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company and intimidation.

Both were released on strict conditional bail and will appear in Coffs Harbour Children’s Court next month.

This latest incidence of youth crime comes after a weekend revelation that several councils around NSW are hiring security guards to act as surrogate police because of a shortage of real officers to patrol the streets.

It has been reported councils hit by a shortfall in police numbers are also spending thousands installing extensive CCTV networks to improve security and spending ratepayers’ money to improve police resources, including buying patrol cars.

Forbes Shire mayor Phyllis Miller told the paper her council employs security guards to ensure the community is kept safe, despite the lack of police.

“We have security people who drive around every night,” she said.

“We always want extra police.”

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