OUR SAY: Crime complaints show it's time to stand up for the neighbourhood

A SECOND complaint from a store manager in the Orange Grove Homemaker Centre about groups of shoplifters intimidating retail workers points to a situation spiraling out of control which demands action.

A fortnight after one store manager revealed she had been attacked on three separate occasion another retailer has come forward with a similar story.

It is one of groups of teenagers and adults loitering around the shops and, when the mood takes them, creating a disturbance so some of them can load up with stolen goods.

And it doesn’t end there. Management and staff at the store are so scared of retaliation if they try and stop the stealing they spend their working days wondering when the thieves will return and whether they will be attacked.

When their working days end it is then a case of hurrying to cars parked nearby and hoping they don’t run into a gang of youths.

It is no way for anyone in Orange to have to work but it is not that different from the situation of some residents around the South Terrace area reported by this newspaper several weeks ago.

Then as now the question is what police and government agencies can do to stamp out the behaviour of a small but dangerous minority who clearly think they can intimidate and assault people and steal with impunity.

Like the vandals who have for months trashed the fences around the Glenroi hockey complex or the minority of residents of the South Terrace area who have no qualms about drinking and fighting on the streets, these individuals seem unperturbed by police patrols and simply carry on where they left off once one the police have gone.

Surely it is time for the police, Housing NSW and  council to sit down and work out a plan of attack of their own.

If the calls to Central Western Daily staff are any indication breaking this cycle of neighbourhood crime should be a higher priority.


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