ORANGE resident Barry Collyer has described his overwhelming anger at a legal system he believes is letting Orange residents down.
The stinging attack comes after his family were the victims of a horrible crime on Wednesday night, when thieves stole more than $20,000 worth of motorbikes and equipment from his garage.
“They only had a small window of opportunity, from about 7.30pm to 10.30pm, but in that time they actually tore down my back fence and stole two 650cc Husabergs, a Honda 150cc, a pee wee 50, a Chinese 50cc four wheeler, along with crash hats, goggles, gloves, a full jerry can and also three empty jerry cans,” he said.
“You’ve got no idea how disappointed I am. Two of the bikes they don’t make anymore, plus how do you tell a two and three-year-old that their most prized possessions have been knicked. It’s disgusting.”
Mr Collyer praised the hard work of police officers as they attempted to catch the culprits, however, he demanded harsher penalties be handed down in court.
He believes only then will people learn to abide by the law and stop committing criminal acts.
“Police are out there doing all they can to catch these mongrels and are doing an extremely good job under the circumstances,” he said.
“But the court system is totally wrong and letting us down. They do these crimes and receive a bullshit slap on the wrist and then they’re back on the streets doing the wrong thing again.
“Everyone should be treated the same and receive the same penalties no matter their race or circumstances.”
Orange councillor and Bowen Residents Action Group president Ron Gander believes there is a spike in crime in Orange at the moment, especially around the housing commission areas.
He agreed the court system was flawed and pointed the finger at several public housing agencies who continued to “look the other way” in the face of poor behaviour and criminal activity.
“As far as I’m concerned the different housing commissions don’t make their tenants responsible for their actions and quite frankly I’m sick of it,” he said.
“Tenants in housing commission areas have an obligation to their neighbours and it’s about time these housing commissions take responsibility.
“The main thing we have to realise here is that we have to protect the good people and punish the bad.
“A lot of people who live in the housing commission areas are elderly, single and vulnerable but they’re too frightened to speak out. That’s no way for anybody to live.”
Mr Gander said members of the Bowen Residents Action Group met with police, member for Orange Andrew Gee, and representatives of Orange City Council and other groups two weeks ago to discuss the growing crime rate in Orange.
He believes it is getting to the stage where something drastic has to be done to protect Orange residents.
He hopes the groups will meet with public housing agencies as soon as possible to discuss solutions.