South Grafton acts on crime
THE SOUTH Grafton community will have a chance to air its thoughts on the area's crime problems at a public meeting tomorrow.
Co-ordinator Melissa Livermore said after all the discussion she had seen on social media, she decided it was time to get people to together to identify the problems in the community.
"To me this sort of issue needs input, because people are not feeling safe in their own homes and it's affecting the community as a whole," Ms Livermore said.
"People are thinking about taking things into their own hands which is certainly something we don't want to happen.
"One person can't solve it on their own, so I think (a community meeting) is a starting block anyway."
Issues or problems identified at tomorrow's meeting would then be used to work towards solutions, she said.
Coffs Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said a police representative would attend the meeting, as an observer rather than a participant.
"We support the community's involvement in the policing issues faced in South, and we'll see what the community wants to do," Insp Jameson said.
"Police response has been significant and sustained for months, and ongoing issues for youth in the area are an issue for the community.
"We will continue to try and make inroads to deter young people from a life of crime."
One of the possible solutions already floated is an increase in youth support, and Ms Livermore is also one of the faces behind a recently renewed push for a PCYC in the Valley.
As an active community member and youth worker, she has seen both sides of the coin.
She believes boredom among youth has had a major influence on the region's crime wave and is an issue for the region's youth in general.
"Once you get involved and become passionate about something, you start noticing the flaws and what is needed in the area," she said. "I'd say a huge chunk of it would be boredom, that's why I tried to start a petition for PCYC again.
"Not everybody's financially able to access a lot of entertainment services that are in the Valley, and services come and go. A PCYC would be concrete."
Paper petitions for a PCYC building in the region have so far garnered more than 160 signatures and the Facebook group Getting PCYC for Grafton, started by Danielle Lavis, has more than 300 members.
Petitions are at Joey's Takeaway on Prince St and Camellia Cottage in South Grafton.
- The community meeting is at Camellia Cottage, 3 Camellia St, South Grafton from 6pm on Friday.