Rocks and bottles have been thrown at cars crossing Missingham Bridge as gangs of up to 20 kids, some as young as 10, brazenly roam the streets at night in Ballina.
Rocks and bottles have been thrown at cars crossing Missingham Bridge as gangs of up to 20 kids, some as young as 10, brazenly roam the streets at night in Ballina. Marc Stapelberg

CRIME WAVE: Funds to tackle Ballina, G'bah crime announced

FOLLOWING reports of a "crime wave" on the North Coast, the State Government has invited community groups, councils and businesses to apply for grants of up to $250,000 to tackle the problem.

The Community Safety Fund was designed to support communities to stamp down on local crime and anti-social behaviour, according to Ben Franklin, Nationals parliamentary secretary for Northern NSW.

Mr Franklin said local non-government and not-for-profit community groups, councils, businesses and organisations could apply for grants of up to $250,000 under the scheme.

"The Community Safety Fund invests in local projects that address local crime hot spots and promotes safe and inclusive use of public space," Mr Franklin said.

"I have heard from many people in our region who have innovative ideas of how to make our community a safer place and I encourage them to take up this funding opportunity."

Confronting the problem works best with a "whole of community" approach, according to NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman.

He said the funding could support grassroots organisations to make their towns, suburbs and cities safer.

"We are calling on local organisations on the North Coast with crime prevention ideas to come forward, so we can help make these ideas a reality and boost community safety," Mr Speakman said.

Police Minister Troy Grant said a "one size fits all" approach didn't work to breaking the cycle of local crime, so "we are working with communities at a grassroots level to find the right solution for each region."

The Community Safety Fund aims to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour across NSW through collaborative approaches to community safety and crime reduction, prevention detection initiatives.

The fund supports projects that address local crime hot spots, address anti-social behaviour in communities and promote safe and inclusive use of public spaces.

For further information and to apply, visit: http://www.crimeprevention.nsw.gov.au



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