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'No respect': G'bah kids dealing drugs, destroying property

UNDER SIEGE: Goonellabah resident Jeff Thompson wants to see something done about youths roaming the streets and causing damage to people's properties, such as throwing rocks at cars and homes including his (below).
UNDER SIEGE: Goonellabah resident Jeff Thompson wants to see something done about youths roaming the streets and causing damage to people's properties, such as throwing rocks at cars and homes including his (below). Marc Stapelberg

TEENAGERS and children as young as 10 are running riot in Goonellabah, using and/or dealing drugs as well as damaging or destroying other people's property.

The situation is so bad some residents have resorted to expensive measures to protect their property.

Homeowner Jeff Thompson is urging authorities to take action against the children who spend their time terrorising residents and littering the streets.

Mr Thompson and his wife were subject to three nights of disturbance in a row from youngsters this week.

 

On Thursday night Mr Thompson and his wife were watching TV when they heard a bang on the wall.

"I came out and found where a stone has been put through our wall on the front of the house," he said.

"Police were called and they are doing a marvellous job but there isn't enough of them to get in the right area at the right time.

 

"These kids just dive away in little holes in narrow laneways and walkways where police can't get to them."

The Thompsons have installed security cameras in a bid to protect their property but it doesn't appear to have deterred youths from throwing rocks at their house.

Their car is covered with a doona and protective sheets because their previous vehicle had $2000 worth of damage done to it by youths.

Rocks have also been thrown at the Thompson's house, including through windows, and scooter handlebars were thrown at their security cameras.

"There is no respect left - it has gone out the window," Mr Thompson said.

 

He said the drug dealing that went on around Goonellabah was "absolutely rife" and part of the problem.

"I know kids around here that are on ice," he said.

Similar issues are affecting nearby towns.

In Ballina, fed-up residents are calling for a curfew for children aged under 16, following a spike in fires, break-ins and vandalism.

Mr Thompson said this was something that could benefit Goonellabah.

 

"These kids are 10, 11, 12, up to 15 - where are they at night?," he said.

"They are out days and nights and I might sound a bit hard but I think (there should be) a 7pm curfew for youth and if they aren't home at that time then their parents have to be accountable for it.'

 

He said Lismore City Council needed to address lighting issues in Goonellabah, where there are "streets that are dark and only have one light".

"I would like to see cameras in the street and more lighting as I think this will deter a lot of them," Mr Thompson said.



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