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18 December, 2020

Olds Calls For Action by Crawford

IN response to Cairns Local News’s story on youth crime at Coastwatchers Skate Park, Councilor Brett Old’s is advising concerned residents to start a petition.

By Nicole Gibson

Councillor Old’s was in favour of a hardcopy petition over an online one due to their potential to be corrupted with fake signatures.

“Going out there and getting actual, physical signatures on paper saying we want this fixed and taking it to Craig Crawford directly and saying you’re our elected representative, we want you to go down to Brisbane to Cabinet and beat the drum for us,” he said.

Last week, Cairns Local News revealed the extent of crime at the park which has left many parents too afraid to let their children visit the park and business owners thousands of dollars out of pocket from ongoing attacks.

Residents are calling for a range of measures to address the issue including tougher punishments for offenders and more police.

Cairns Local News contacted Minister for Barron River Craig Crawford’s office last week for an update on when locals could expect the pre-election promise of 150 new police officers for the region.

In an emailed response, he stated that resourcing was a matter for the Police Commissioner however a media release received from Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt’s office this week announced the imminent arrive of two new police officers for the Smithfield branch.

The Cairns Crime and Justice Action Group (CJAG) said they had also reached out to the Trinity Beach community and were making inroads to support them with advocacy and lobbying at the appropriate levels.

While more police were always welcomed, CJAG spokesperson Aaron McLeod said the size of the Northern Beaches Region posed challenges.

“The Northern Beaches is a significant geographical area and while it’s always good to get extra police on the beat unless they are specifically stationed at Trinity Beach at a police beat then the two officers are not going to contribute substantially to the nature of this type of youth crime,” Mr McLeod said.

In his office’s email to Cairns Local News last week Minister Crawford said a new mobile police beat was earmarked for the Cairns Northern Beaches as part of the pre-election commitment.

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