CRIME and antisocial behaviour in Glenroi and Bowen were the focus of this week’s inter-agency meeting with key community stakeholders including police and Department of Family and Community Services representatives pledging to tackle the problems together.
Member for Orange Andrew Gee said the monthly talkfest was “very positive and constructive, but this is an ongoing process”.
According to Mr Gee Canobolas Local Area Command Superintendent David Driver told attendees that despite a number of high profile incidents in Glenroi and Bowen recently, Orange was not in the middle of a crime wave.
“Of course any crime is too much crime, but we’re not at the crisis point that we were three or four years ago, [although] there are still people who don’t feel safe in those areas,” Mr Gee said.
“[However] it’s useful to keep what we’re doing in perspective, and look at the advances that have been made in those areas.”
According to Mr Gee Superintendent Driver plans to step up police community engagement in Glenroi and Bowen and may introduce police on pushbikes.
“The areas will still be heavily patrolled, but police are just looking at different ways of engaging with the community,” Mr Gee said.
Mr Gee said representatives from the Department of Education and Communities also committed to step up their efforts to target truancy.
“We also spoke about how we could better engage students who are on suspension,” Mr Gee said.
“We need to make sure they’re usefully engaged when they’re not at school.”
Mr Gee said lack of parental supervision was an ongoing issue in Glenroi and Bowen.
“You can’t force parents to supervise their children,” he said.
“There are a range of social issues in these areas which are complicated, and there is no cure-all.”
Mr Gee said while visitors to Glenroi and Bowen are often blamed for some of the antisocial behaviour which occurs in Orange, that’s not always the case.
“Some of these issues run through generations and it’s too simplistic to say we should just run these people out of town,” he said.
“Not all out-of-towners are engaged in anti-social or criminal activity.”