Police on the front foot in getting crims off the streets
A MURDER charge, a violent ram raid and multiple break and enters across the Ballina area over the summer might seem like there's a spike in crime.
But despite the sheer randomness of the some of the recent crimes, Richmond Police District Superintendent Toby Lindsay said the latest crime reports reveal the number of offences occurring haven't been out of the ordinary.
Supt Lindsay said the proactive police work had ensured many cases resulted in someone appearing before the courts, including those allegedly involved in the fatal attack on East Lismore man, Jesse Vilkelis-Curas, in Ballina last month.
"We've had complex investigations over recent months," Supt Lindsay said.
"Police and the community have worked very hard to identify offenders and put those offenders before the court."
Ballina Shire mayor David Wright said he was pleased to see there had been reasonably less crime than previous years across the festive season.
He said recent council changes to the Lake Ainsworth area, including the banning of alcohol on site, has created significant impact in reducing the number of incidents occurring.
"New Year's Eve was the quietest New Year's Eve that ever happened," Cr Wright said.
"I think it's because of the change in that there's a lot less people here that aren't doing crime.
"Police also rode around on bicycles. They're doing a lot of proactive work."
Cr Wright said nobody had raised concerns with him about the severity of the recent crimes in Ballina.
"People's biggest concerns are South Ballina Beach and four-wheel drives, but they're mostly south-east Queensland drivers.
"They tend to be non-locals doing it compared to years ago."
Supt Lindsay said police would continue to work alongside council as part of its high visibility summer campaign, Operation Banshee, to "address areas of concern for the community, including alcohol-related crime, property theft and beach safety.
"Police in Ballina continue to target property crime offenders … to help reduce the opportunity for property thieves, both residential and shoplifting," he said.
"This is a key focus for us.
"We need the community help to prevent and disrupt crime. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact local police and Crime Stoppers."