Police to target unruly Lennox teens

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL

POLICE have vowed to crack down on unruly teenagers after a weekend of mayhem in Lennox Head.

Ballina duty officer Insp Dave Larkin said police received numerous complaints between Saturday night and Sunday morning as drunken youths caused chaos in the town centre.

In a media statement released yesterday, police said Saturday was a night of 'anti-social behaviour, offensive conduct, assaults and juveniles possessing and consuming alcohol'.

Five police vehicles from throughout the Northern Rivers were called to Lennox Head to deal with dozens of groups of drunk teenagers wandering the streets.

Several arrests were made, numerous 'move on' directions were issued and some of the teenagers were taken home by police because of their high level of intoxication.

Insp Larkin warned teenagers and their parents that police would step up patrols in Lennox Head as a result of the weekend events.

"The type of behaviour displayed on Saturday night will not be tolerated," he said.

"Residents are reminded any type of antisocial or illegal activity will be dealt with within the confines of the law. "If you flout the law, you can expect to be dealt with by legal process, including arrest.

"Police will increase patrols in these areas and take the appropriate action to reduce and remove this type of behaviour, and are seeking the assistance from parents in our efforts to reduce this behaviour."

Lennox Head resident Kay Warbrook, who compiled a report on youth crime for the Ballina Shire Council four years ago, said parental neglect was a major factor in the town's problems.

"The biggest theory that came out of the study was a lack of parental responsibility," she said.

"Parents are nowhere to be seen. We need more parental control."

Kay spent months talking to young people who gathered on the streets of Lennox Head and said under-age drinking was just as prevalent then as it was now.

"Young people are meeting in town and older people are buying their alcohol for them," she said.

"There still isn't a place like a youth centre where young people can gather safely."



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