On your bike, vandals told
By EMMA O'NEILL firstname.lastname@example.org FOR the members of the Casino BMX club it's getting beyond a joke.
Every week since the club opened its canteen six months ago the building has been attacked by vandals.
Every week members spend hours cleaning up rubbish, getting rid of graffiti, and repairing damaged buildings at Casino Skate Park.
According to corporate governance officer at Richmond Valley Council, Lawrie Bonner, stories of vandalism such as this one are not rare.
From October 2006 to November 2007 there were 64 reports of vandalism and 40 counts of security issues reported to Richmond Valley council.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Local residents report intimidation has caused some people to balk at calling the police.
A BMX club member, who refused to be named, said he once caught vandals in the act but was told by the group that if he reported them to the police they would "sort him out".
Sites damaged during the year included the memorial pool and scout hall in Casino, Evans Head Aerodrome, and the Casino showground. This damage cost the council around $40,000 to repair. The Kyogle Library was also a popular target for vandals.
Mr Bonner said it was frustrating to waste funds repairing damage caused by 'imbeciles' when it could be used to fix roads and improve facilities.
He said it was time for action. He recently led an initiative by Richmond Valley Council to offer a $1600 reward to any citizen who could provide information relating to vandalism or damage to council property.
Mr Bonner said they had offered a similar reward a few years ago and were able to track down a few culprits. "We've tried other things in the past, but offering a reward worked last time and hopefully it will make people come forward so we can fix this issue," he said.