Clarence Mayor Richie Williamson.
Clarence Mayor Richie Williamson.

Council crime fighters too costly

FROM a Clarence Valley point of view, news Frankston City Council is considering hiring security guards in an effort to curb crime could not be more timely.

The crime-ridden suburban Melbourne council has decided to press ahead with a plan to spend about $250,000 of public funds hiring eight roaming guards as part of a six-month trial to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.

But don’t expect to see a similar scheme adopted in the Clarence Valley, Mayor Richie Williamson said.

“I saw the same story (about Frankston) ... and thought ‘there’s a way out’, but we ain’t got that kind of cash, I can tell you,” Cr Williamson said.

“I don’t think local government should be getting into running a police force.

“That’s a matter for the State Government to consider; that’s clearly in their domain. Cost shifting is already costing us a fortune.”

Cr Williamson admitted to feeling ‘embarrassed’ when news of Sunday morning’s riot in Yamba made national headlines.

“I feel disappointed and embarrassed about the incidents on Sunday morning,” he said.

“We remain fully supportive of the police, who carried out their duty, and the rest is now before the courts.”

Cr Williamson said council was doing everything within its power to reduce antisocial behaviour in the Valley.

“We’ve got crime-prevention plans, liquor accords,” he said.

“We do what we can, but what happened on Sunday cannot be planned for, it cannot be legislated against and it comes down to people acting responsibly within a community and parents acting responsibly,” Cr Williamson said.



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