Road toll still below average

DESPITE two heartbreaking fatalities on Clarence Valley roads last week, this year's death toll is down on the same time last year.

Speaking yesterday at a Coffs/Clarence Safety Precinct Committee in Yamba, Superintendent Mark Holahan said by this time of year there are usually close to 10 fatal crashes.

Last week's events brought this year's toll to four.

In the meeting, which is designed to allow the public to work with police on local problems, Supt Holahan also issued a stark warning to bikie gangs.

"The message is quite clear," he said.

"We don't like you. You don't represent anything good and we know what you're up to."

He said, while there was no local concern of situations spiralling as they have in Sydney, a lot of work was being done behind the scenes to weed them out.

Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay said crime statistics in the Clarence Valley were levelling off after the summer "spike".

"There's been a fair bit of community concern about crime over the past six months or so," he said.

"Break and enters are similar in Grafton as in Lower River with spikes over the summer months.

"Since a number of our main offenders have been incarcerated we have seen the drops."

He said vehicle thefts have been an issue but police had arrested and charged a number of offenders.

Grafton Chamber of Commerce and Grafton Shoppingworld manager Greg Hayes said the chamber would be working with The Daily Examiner to raise awareness of the Police Assistance Line and encourage people to report non-urgent crimes on 13 14 44.

While police weren't convinced an increase in reports would lead to more officers on the street, they said it would help police position themselves in crime hotspots.



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