Antisocial behaviour hits a raw nerve: poll reveals extent of growing problem

TIME TO ARREST CRIME: People are fed up with antisocial behaviour.

TIME TO ARREST CRIME: People are fed up with antisocial behaviour.

ANTISOCIAL behaviour in Orange is at an all-time high and a growing cause for concern.

The Central Western Daily’s online poll on Tuesday and in an alarming landslide result, a whopping 95 per cent of nearly 300 people agreed the city’s antisocial problems are growing at a rapid rate.

That opinion is shared by two industry experts who agree antisocial behaviour, including drug and alcohol abuse, offensive language and violence, were problems in this city. 

“I am not at all surprised that the survey produced that result,” Whiteley Ironside lawyer Toby Tancred  said.

“Undoubtedly there is antisocial behaviour problems in Orange and people who witness it or are directly affected by such behaviour are going to complain.”

Lyndon Community deputy chief executive officer Julaine Allan believes it’s not just Orange where these incidents are on the rise.

“Crime statistics show a big problem for public antisocial behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse and the main offenders are men aged between 18-25,” she said.

“The most likely time for these offences is Friday and Saturday nights and Orange is consistent with the rest of the state.

“I believe domestic violence is the biggest problem and these incidents can often be alcohol and drug related and spill from the house into the street where it becomes a huge concern for residents.”

The Central Western Daily’s poll came after two South Terrace residents complained about constant brawling in the street, drug and alcohol abuse and said they felt safer in Sydney’s troubled Mount Druitt area.

OUR SAY: POLL RESULT COMES AS NO SURPRISE

They’ve called on police to set up a mobile police station in the area and increase their patrols.

Mr Tancred said he believes better education was crucial to stopping this alarming trend.

“My personal belief is that any so called antisocial behaviour is a product of some pretty complicated systemic problems,” he said.

“If one was to get into a political debate you would have to ask why the federal government is taking the axe to education and health budgets. Plainly, young people who are educated or skilled and employable are not going to be hanging around the streets harassing people or committing crimes. 

“Why make cuts to health when in a lot of cases people who behave outside of acceptable norms probably have mental health issues?

“I’m not apologising for every person who behaves badly, far from it. People have to accept responsibility for themselves, but the why part of this debate is very complicated and it is not as simple as bashing people over the head and telling them what to do. 

“I’m more of a believer in the carrot than the stick.”

luke.schuyler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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