District Inspector Brendan Gorman and Acting Superintendent David Waddell.
District Inspector Brendan Gorman and Acting Superintendent David Waddell. Trevor Veale

Residents share concerns on local crime

LOCALS gathered at the council chambers on Thursday to share their concerns on local crime at the first-ever open forum.

The Community Precinct Safety Consultation, facilitated by local police and Coffs Harbour City Council, focuses on sharing information about criminal activity in the Coffs Harbour area.

Acting Superintendent David Waddell and District Inspector Brendan Gorman were on hand to answer questions from locals.

According to police, a particular concern is the crime rate at Park Beach.

In a 12-month period, 653 assaults took place in Coffs Harbour, 103 or 15.7 per cent in Park Beach. About 20.6 per cent of break and enters also took place in the suburb.

"In Park Beach we know council have recently received a grant for lighting. We believe lighting will assist us in regards to stealing and assaults," Insp Gorman said.

"People are turning up to licensed premises preloaded (on alcohol) and what we're finding is that assaults aren't actually occurring in licensed premises but coming to and from."

Another concern for police is locals leaving their cars unlocked, leading to an increase in theft from vehicles.

"A recent phenomenon is that offenders are just walking along the streets and checking door handles," Insp Gorman said.

Councillor Michael Adendorff and numerous residents shared concerns about youths loitering in Park Ave outside Woolworths.

"There were numerous children... around the ages 12-20 and to anybody going through they were really quite intimidating," said a concerned resident.

"We do have legislation now where we can move people on," Supt Waddell responded.

"The issue comes on and off our radar because people don't call us so we don't know about it. We encourage you to call us... There are things we can do about it."



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