Solutions sought to plateau crime
By MARY MANN firstname.lastname@example.org THE Alstonville/Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce is searching for answers to crime on the plateau.
It is asking business owners to fill out a survey on perceptions of crime in the local area, in a bid to identify hazards, issues and trends.
The survey comes after a recent spate of criminal activity in the town, such as break-ins.
Executive committee member Les Wiles said about 70 per cent of those who already completed the survey had experienced crime themselves in the past three years.
Richard Lutze, the president of the chamber, said it was important to complete the survey as it would help compile a comprehensive record of how crime has affected the business community.
"That way, when someone asks us about crime in the town, we won't just have a knee-jerk reaction," Mr Lutze said.
"Hopefully we will have a good idea of what has gone on." Once the crime surveys have been completed, the findings will be reported back to the chamber.
Mr Lutze said if there were issues that came out of the survey, the chamber may take them to local police.
"Then we can hopefully work with them to combat the issues," he said.
The survey also asks about street and business signage to determine what the business community wants and needs, and how it can be better used to attract people to the town.
It comes as a special police team from Sydney is preparing a report on crime issues in the Ballina CBD.
The team came to the town last month to conduct an audit. They walked through the main streets with business owners in a bid to identify crime and safety hazards.
The findings of the audit and suggested solutions will be presented to local police and Ballina Shire Council.
To participate in the survey, or for more information, call Richard Lutze on 6628 5048 or Les Wiles on 6628 5161.