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Ballina struggling with crime

Glenn Costello working with the council and police on crime problems.
Glenn Costello working with the council and police on crime problems. Doug Eaton

BALLINA continues to struggle with violent crime following the assault and robbery of two 21-year-old Brisbane men in the main street by a gang of about 15 youths on the weekend.

The men were believed to have been walking home from the CBD about 2.30am on Saturday when the group approached them on the corner of River and Grant streets.

Following an altercation one of the Brisbane men was punched to the ground. His friend then attempted to help him and was also assaulted.

The gang stole a mobile phone before running off.

This latest incident follows a series of violent assaults and robberies in the town in the last month – including two armed robberies.

In December a service station attendant was robbed at knifepoint at his business in broad daylight.

The same month the manager of a Ballina caravan park was also robbed.

That incident followed a string of violent assaults and vandalism at a park.

Other incidents include ongoing late night attacks on the street of the CBD, including three in 24 hoursbetween December 21 and 22.

Those included a 42-year-old Ballina man who was attacked in River Street while riding his pushbike at midnight, and a 15-year-old who was found unconscious after being assaulted near the intersection of Brampton Avenue and Apsley Street about 3am.

A 27-year-old man from Narara, NSW, was also head butted in the face in Kalinga Street at a business premises about 3.15am.

Ballina’s Chamber of Commerce chairman Glenn Costello believes the problem is being exacerbated by the population explosion at this time of the year and said the chamber was working with the council and the police to address the problem.

Any information on these assaults should be given to Ballina police on 6681 8699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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