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5 February, 2021

Regions Rally Against Crime

THE Tablelands community is taking a stand against youth crime with rallies to be held in Mareeba today and Atherton tomorrow.

By Nicole Gibson

Peaceful rallies will be held in Mareeba and Atherton in response to escalating crimes levels after two youths went on a car stealing and crime spree last week.

The Tablelands arm of the Crime and Justice Action Group (CJAG) will hold a rally today at 12.30pm at Arnold Park in Mareeba with a second rally being held in Atherton tomorrow at 11am at Railway Lane Park.

CJAG Mareeba member and Traditional Owner Ann-Marie Keating said crime levels were out of control.

“What’s happening has got right out of hand, it’s not normal in our communities,” she said.

“You don’t really hear of these types of things happening in rural communities.

“The amount of break ins and I’ve met a few victims of break ins and what they’re left with and the pain that they’re left with and the looking over their shoulder for the rest of their time, it’s terrible.”

CJAG spokesperson Aaron McLeod said the rallies were designed to bring the community together to share different perspectives.

“Everybody is welcome to come to these events and if they want to have a talk and if they want to speak, they’re welcome to speak and be part of the community,” Mr McLeod said.

 “What this is doing is getting the message out there from various perspectives, Indigenous perspective, non-Indigenous perspective, and business perspective, from individual homeowners, from the elderly.”

The organisation, which formed in March last year, has a 12 point plan to address youth crime and have been lobbying the State Government and Queensland Police to implement their suggestions.

Mr McLeod said while the organisation were not in direct communication with Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll who is now calling for solutions for to address serious youth crime after the death of an Alexandra Hills couple and their unborn child, they had been in contact with police at a local level.

CJAG were due to have a meeting with local Police Chief Superintendent Brian Huxley in December but that meeting got cancelled and they are now waiting for a new date.

“They still haven’t come back to us so that’s just in process effectively, that’s just a communication issue,” Mr McLeod said.

To find out more about the rallies visit the Crime and Justice Action Group’s website or Facebook.

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