North Casino resident Mavis Mohammed holds some of the rocks that have been thrown at her Queensland Road home by local youths. CATHY ADAMS
North Casino resident Mavis Mohammed holds some of the rocks that have been thrown at her Queensland Road home by local youths. CATHY ADAMS

Gang of children causing mayhem

YOUTHS running amok are driving North Casino resident Mavis Mohammed mad.

Constant pummelling of her home by young people throwing rocks has driven the normally quiet resident to take action, in the form of a complaint to local State MP Steve Cansdell.

But she says the police appear powerless to do anything about the nuisance behaviour.

The vandalism follows recent attacks on passing taxis, and Mrs Mohammed blames the same gang of North Casino youths for the damage.

“We need more police. The ones we have are covering too great an area,” she said.

Mrs Mohammed said her anger had nothing to do with racism.

“How can I be racist when I am married to a man of Pakistani background?” she said.

“But I am sick of this tommyrot. What these children are doing, and some are as young as six, I don’t believe in at all. Their parents should be punished.

“There is no respect being shown. All kids will act this way if they have no boundaries. But the parents or grandparents have to be made responsible.”

Mrs Mohammed said alcohol helped fuel the young people’s drive for trouble, and an area of long grass across the road from her house and that of her neighbours helped hide the offenders.

Meanwhile, in Coraki, residents and shopowners are full of praise for their local police officer, Snr Sgt Brett Marshall, who has helped to turn the town around from a haven for vandals to a quiet community.

“I just believe in being on the streets,” he said. “It’s about old-fashioned policing – being highly visible and working with the community. You can’t solve crime by sitting in the station.”

Snr Sgt Marshall said that over the years there had been a breakdown in communication between the community and the police. But in his 18 months on the job there had been a ‘breaking down ofbarriers.’

“There is good communication now,” he said. “There has been a good impact here.”

Compared with western NSW towns like Brewarrina and Guyra, where Snr Sgt Marshall worked previously, Coraki is a piece of cake.

However, he said a council ban on drinking alcohol in Richmond Terrace had had a huge impact of the levels of vandalism in the town centre.

“Previously that was a cause of offensive behaviour and malicious damage, and as the drinkers made their way home they left a path of destruction,” he said.

Snr Sgt Marshall also said a courtesy bus operated by Bottom Pub publican Barry Kneeves had helped to keep the streets quiet.

TELL US YOUR VANDALISM STORY ... email news@northernstar.com.au or call the newsroom on 6620 0554.



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