Coordinated approach needed: Mayor
BELLINGEN’S Mayor Councillor Mark Troy said a coordinated approach from council, Bellingen’s Liquor Accord and police is the best way to tackle the problem of anti-social and violent behaviour in the town.
“I believe the incidence of this unwanted behaviour peaked in late December and early January when some unsavoury types came into town,” he said.
“The people responsible weren’t just local kids but visiting young adults who brought their own drug and alcohol problems to Bellingen.”
“I have every confidence that by working closely with the police we will get on top of the problem. We’ve also just received funding for a youth drinking initiative which will help,”
Cr Troy said. The president of the Bellingen Chamber of Commerce Guy Saddleton said the key to stamping out the type of violent and anti-social behaviour seen during the holiday period was to have a much higher police presence.
“We need to have officers on the ground and able to respond quickly when these incidences are happening,” Mr Saddleton said.
“It seems these kids and young adults are street smart and try to get away with as much as they can and then get out of town before they get caught,” he said.
The Coffs Clarence Area Commander Superintendent Mark Holahan said there had been no reduction in police levels in Bellingen.