Vigilante fears at Coraki over teens

By ALEX EASTON

CORAKI residents will turn to vigilante action to stop teenagers causing trouble in the town if government agencies do not act soon, Clarence MP Steve Cansdell has warned.

Mr Cansdell yesterday expressed alarm at reports that a 13-year-old boy had threatened three children, aged 7, 9 and 11, with a knife.

The teen was alleged to have held the knife to the throats of the two older children and threatened to kill them, and threatened to 'cut' the 7-year-old girl.

Mr Cansdell, who visited families in the town yesterday, backed claims that the 13-year-old and his group of friends were responsible for many of the problems presently faced by the town and called for the Department of Community Services to act.

"There are three kids who are the main ringleaders," Mr Cansdell said. "I reckon that they are responsible for three-quarters of the problems there."

Among other incidents at the weekend blamed on the three teens by Mr Cansdell and resi- dents were:

The smashing of windows at the golf club.

Two whipper-snippers stolen from the Coraki hospital.

Damage to several cars in the town.

"There should be a simple solution," Mr Cansdell said. "So how come these kids are still walking around, continually in trouble?

"People find them in their backyard stealing stuff out of the shed and when they confront them, they start abusing people and walk away as though nothing is wrong.

"I can understand their frustration. This morning three different people said they would take matters into their own hands if something were not done.

"...They're talking about vigilante action."

That sort of action could result in otherwise law-abiding residents being charged and facing court while the three teenagers remained at large without any meaningful consequence.

However, DoCS had the power to remove the teens as 'children at risk', because their actions were preventing them from growing up as functioning members of society.



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