Maclean business owners frustrated with crimes
MACLEAN retailers say an ongoing crime wave in the CBD has gone on for far too long and it's time for action.
With two more businesses lodging break-and-enter reports to police in the past week, Maclean Chamber of Commerce president John Riggall said the business community was anxious and frustrated.
"It's outrageous ... and it's not fair to expect business owners to put up with it," Mr Riggall said.
"That's why the chamber is encouraging the community to report all feral and delinquent behaviour to police.
"It's time to become the squeaky wheel."
Mr Riggall named at least a dozen local businesses targeted by thieves over the last 12-18 months.
He also pointed to "drunken, feral behaviour" in McLachlan Park as another issue which needed to be resolved.
Last Friday Mr Riggall attended a Community Safety Precinct Meeting in Maclean.
The meeting is co-ordinated by police and attended by local business owners, representatives from the council, and local indigenous leaders.
"The meeting was very productive and it's clear the police are as frustrated as the community is," Mr Riggall said.
Yesterday Coffs/Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson told The Daily Examiner he was not able to confirm the specific statistics for Maclean at short notice; but the overall number of break-and-enter crimes reported within the region over the last 12 months was "significantly under target" and well under average.
He said there had been a steady decline in reports of both dwelling and non-dwelling property crimes since 2012 and credited the reduction to a "very strong and targeted approach" by local crime action groups and intelligence operations on the ground.
Mr Jameson said police would continue to work closely with the community and Clarence Valley Council to address safety concerns and minimise crime.
The meeting also discussed the possibility of extending the alcohol-free zone.
Clarence Valley Mayor, Richie Williamson, said the council was working hand-in-hand with the police and community to look at ways to reduce crime, not only in Maclean but across the Clarence Valley.
Cr Williamson said McLachlan and Cameron parks were alcohol-prohibited areas, but consideration was also being given to including Rotary Park as another alcohol-prohibited area.
"Police seem generally pleased with the plans we've developed," he said.
Police have also held discussions with the local Liquor Accord and individual licensees in Maclean to raise the idea of "barred from one, barred from all" whereby offenders would be banned across the board.
"We're hoping to see some reduction to alcohol-related issues in the park," he said.
To report a non-life threatening crime, phone the Police Assistance line on 13 14 44.