David Synott, 20, of Wollongbar (front), and mates Rhys Walker, 17, of Tintenbar, Aaron Fairfull, 17, of Wollongbar, say they always work out a safe way home before planning a night out.
David Synott, 20, of Wollongbar (front), and mates Rhys Walker, 17, of Tintenbar, Aaron Fairfull, 17, of Wollongbar, say they always work out a safe way home before planning a night out.

Safe party precautions make for great night out

HAVING a night out in Lismore takes careful planning for David Synott and his mates.

“We also know heaps of people who have been chased after leaving the pub in Lismore. I’ve also been chased,” the 20-year-old said. “The longer you are out on the street after leaving, the more of a target you become.”

Now police are warning people to take care getting home after a jump in the number of people being attacked after leaving pubs and clubs in the region.

Crime prevention officer Senior Constable Michael Hogan urged residents of Lismore, Ballina and Casino to put their safety first and protect themselves from becoming prey to criminals.

He said after a couple of drinks people were more relaxed and tended to let ‘their guard drop’, leaving them vulnerable to robberies and assaults in areas away from the town centre, without good street lighting and security cameras.

“They become a soft target,” Snr Const Hogan said. “A robbery can become an assault if they don’t hand over their goods or money.”

He said victims were not always drunk, but became targets for robbery as they walked home on the edges of the CBD and in the suburbs.

It is a warning already heeded by David Synott and his mates. Mr Synott said he and his friends have learnt to plan a quick and safe way to get home

“About six months ago, a mate was out with his cousin and was leaving a pub in Keen Street when some random guy said something to them.

“Next thing, this guy started bashing his cousin with a rock and smashed his jaw with it – he was taken to hospital with a broken jaw.

“It’s definitely a well-known fact that it’s not safe around Lismore at night. We always have a plan to get home before we go out in Lismore because we know there’s a good chance we’ll get bashed up if we don’t.”

Mr Synott said he and his friends never went out alone and didn’t take any valuables with them.

Snr Const Hogan said people had to be wary of being followed on foot or by someone in a car.

He said people should plan before they go out to get home by public transport, taxi, or have a family member or friend pick them up.

In a move to counter the problem, police have received extra funds to carry out more patrols on foot, by bike and car.

Mr Synott and his friends said they would welcome more police on the street and better public transport for people to get home safely.

Snr Cons Hogan said with the recent increase in reported assaults, police wanted people to plan their evening out so they had a safe way of getting home.


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