Ballina teenagers who do not want to be identified are witness to the violence that occurs on the streets of Ballina.
Ballina teenagers who do not want to be identified are witness to the violence that occurs on the streets of Ballina. Jay Cronan

Police appeal to reduce youth crime

POLICE from the Tweed/Byron Command have issued an extraordinary plea for parents to assist in the reduction of youth crime across the region.

Youth Liaison Officer Senior Constable Belinda Scowcroft said police were deeply concerned with the increase in youth involvement in violent crime, gang-related intimidation, alcohol consumption and theft across the region.

Police asked parents to check where their children are going, who they're with and when to expect them home.

“We just ask that if parents feel their kids are becoming involved with an undesirable element that they keep talking to their kids in an effort to prevent criminal activity, or come in and get some assistance from police,” Sen Const Scowcroft said.

The Northern Star spoke to young people on the streets of Ballina on Saturday who painted a similar picture.

This town is dangerous after dark; you can't go out at night any more, said one 16-year-old girl.

She described large groups of rowdy kids roaming the streets at night as commonplace.

“Many think they're these little American gangsters. There are no one-on-one fights anymore; it's 20-on-one and it's all 'king hits' and 'dog shots',” she said referring to cowardly attacks from behind.

“There's nothing to do so they steal cars and do ram raids and stuff. One kid even stole a cement truck and a crane.”

Police described it as heartbreaking to see the effect on families and the community when young people get criminal records or are injured or killed. Any information in relation to youth crime or gang-related issues can be confidentially given to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

DO YOU CHECK ON YOUR CHILD'S ACTIVITIES? Phone 6624 3266 or SMS 0428 264 948


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