Residents fear for their safety after Byron Bay stabbing
LAST weekend's harrowing stabbing in Butler St Reserve in Byron Bay has left some residents wondering what it will take for authorities to clean up the illegal camps dotted around bushland near the town.
Bob Maughan has lived in Sommerset St, opposite the Butler St Reserve, for 39 years.
Over recent months she has asked police, council and rangers to do something about the illegal camp in the nearby bushland.
Along with her son and full-time carer, Hud Maughan, Bob's most recent visit to Byron Police station was last Thursday, three days before the stabbing.
"I went to ask for help because I was concerned for my safety, so many of the people who pass by to and from the camp site are drug-affected or seem to have mental illnesses," she said.
But Bob is disappointed that police, council and national parks seem to buck-pass from one to another over the issue.
"There seem to be more new people there and they seem to be more aggressive," she said.
"Enough is enough it's time for council, police or National Parks to do something about it."
Police have since charged a 48-year-old man with the stabbing and he was refused bail at Tweed Heads local court on Monday.
Council's acting sustainable development manager, Chris Larkin, said staff were in discussion with the police about the homeless and itinerant camp on the Butler St Reserve, and elsewhere.
He said dealing with the homeless was a sensitive matter because often there was nowhere else in the area for them to go.
"The area is patrolled regularly for van camping and fines issued when illegal camping is found to have occurred.
"People concerned about illegal campers should report the matter to council on 66267000 and if they are worried about their immediate safety they should call police."