Maclean Chamber of Commerce president John Riggall stand in the town's business district which has seen 16 break and enter incidents in seven months.
Maclean Chamber of Commerce president John Riggall stand in the town's business district which has seen 16 break and enter incidents in seven months.

Maclean break-ins begin calls for action

SIXTEEN break and enter incidents in seven months has sparked the Maclean Chamber of Commerce to take action to protect the town's CBD.

Chamber president John Riggall has called for expressions of interest for a meeting at the Maclean RSL on Monday, saying the spate of recent break-ins at Maclean businesses had gone on far too long.

Several of the town's shops have already installed CCTV and security cameras, and Mr Riggall said further ideas floated included pasting CCTV stills in windows and hiring security officers.

"It depends what the businesses collectively are prepared to do," he said.

Coffs/Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said police had been actively working to get to the bottom of break and enters which had been an issue since last year.

In the past seven months, there have been 11 reported break and enters to Maclean businesses, and five incidents of break and enter with intent, in which nothing was actually stolen from the premises.

Det Insp Jameson said local police had deployed a number of strategies to assist in reducing these rates based on their intelligence, including targeted patrols and covert strategies.

"Those strategies sometimes may not assist us to catch the person responsible but nearly always assist us to deter further offences," he said.

"Each break and enter is fully investigated and where appropriate forensic examination is conducted."

Det Insp Jameson said some break and enters took years to clear as the police often had to wait to identify the people responsible for offences, but said a number of people had been dealt with for stealing offences.

"One break and enter, whether it be into a home or a business, is one too many," he said.

He said that after forensic investigation of a number of scenes police were following leads to help identify who was responsible.

The wider lower river region, including Yamba and Iluka, also saw a spike in criminal activity in the Christmas holiday period.

Between December 16 and January 12, seven incidents of theft from motor vehicles, 14 incidents of malicious damage and six alcohol-related assaults were reported.

Three break and enters into houses and one case of stealing from a retail store were also recorded.