Police turn up heat on 'hoodlums'

POLICE have vowed to get tough on 'hoodlums' in Lennox Head, warning youths that they will be caught if they cause trouble.

Officers patrolling the coastal village have adopted a 'zero tolerance' strategy in an effort to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.

Last week, a Barrett Drive resident told how groups of up to 40 'out of control' teenagers gathered in quiet streets on the weekends to drink and vandalise property,

Ballina duty officer, Inspector Paul Fredericks, said police were 'fully aware' of the problems being caused by 'alcohol-charged hood- lums' in Lennox Head.

“We are currently addressing these problems by specifically tasking police operations to those areas,” he said.

“I have given officers policing the Lennox Head area clear instructions to adopt a zero tolerance approach when dealing with acts of hoodlum behaviour, damage to property and other offences.

“They have been given clear instructions to exercise their powers.”

Insp Fredericks said youths were now 'on notice'.

“Their behaviour is not accepted, nor will it be tolerated, and they can expect to bear the full weight of the law if they continue to offend,” he said.

But parents have been also urged to play a role in controlling the situation.

Insp Fredericks said parents and carers should know the where- abouts of their children at all times.

“In simple terms, they must accept their responsibility as a parent, know where their children are and exercise some control over their children's activities,” he said.

“Young juveniles who roam the streets late at night and in the early hours of the morning seem to find trouble, or trouble finds them.”

On Australia Day this year fights involving hundreds of people at Lake Ainsworth led to the arrest of more than 10 revellers, mainly teenagers.

Soon afterwards the Richmond Local Area Command identified Lennox Head as a 'higher risk area'.

But police also said it was 'not realistic' for residents to expect a police station to be built in the town.

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