Plain thuggery

By Adrian Miller

With tourist season fast approaching Yamba businesses are calling for more action to be taken against drunken youths after four men were viciously assaulted in three separate incidents in the town over the weekend.

According to police a 23-year-old man was taken to Maclean District Hospital with severe facial injuries on Saturday night after he and his father were bashed in Coldstream Street while waiting for a lift home.

The two had just finished dinner with their family when they were confronted by a gang of youths in Yamba's main street.

They attacked the 46-year-old man with kicks and punches before turning on his son after he went to the aid of his father.

There was another assault just before 10pm on the same night when a Yamba man was attacked by youths after he saw them causing trouble near his business in Coldstream Street.

He received cuts and bruises in the assault.

The violence began early on Saturday morning when a 19-year-old Asbhy man was attacked by approximately 20 teenagers.

Police said the man was walking down Wooli Street when he was approached by the youths who proceeded to kick and punch him.

He also received severe facial cuts and bruises and a dislodged tooth in the assault.

Police said while charges were yet to be laid, they had suspects for each of the incidents.

One Yamba business owner said for the sake of the town this behaviour had to be curbed.

"Our bread and butter is the tourist season and if tourists come here and see this sort of s__t they're not going to come back," he said.

"Shop owners are just going to take the law into their own hands if they catch them on their premises.

"We don't want that to happen, but I don't know what else you can do about it."

Yamba Chamber of Commerce president Sue Hughes said she was hopeful this trouble would not last.

"We hope that with the extra police numbers that have been allocated to Yamba by Christmas that this type of behaviour will be reduced," she said.

However, Yamba NRMA store owner Ken Adams, who witnessed up to 20 under age drinkers in Coldstream Street urinating, verbally abusing people and vandalising the area early on Friday night, said the problem needed to be addressed now.

"The community has got to start being more vigilant and forceful about reporting incidents to the police," he said.



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