Man bashed in Yamba brawl
A VICIOUS daylight attack in Yamba’s main street has left shopkeepers fearing for both their safety and the reputation of Australia’s number one town.
Eyewitnesses, who did not want to be identified out of fear of retribution, said a group of local youths were seen about 3.45pm Saturday attacking a young man in Yamba Street.
They described the attack as ‘violent’ and ‘out of control’, claiming the attackers used sticks, a brick or stone, and chairs from a nearby eatery to bash the man.
Several witnesses confirmed the fight lasted for about 20 minutes, during which time a number of shopkeepers and tourists, including small children, were forced to hide in shops in a bid to escape the violence.
They said the victim had blood streaming down his face but he fled the scene before an ambulance arrived.
A number of eyewitnesses confirmed to The Daily Examiner they called the police to notify them of the fight, but no police presence was seen at the scene, even hours after the attack.
The witnesses also said they had not been contacted by the police following the incident and no statements were taken.
Yamba District Chamber of Commerce president Daniel Reeves said Yamba traders were concerned local police were being stretched to their limit.
He said there had been a noticeable increase in crime in Yamba’s CBD and at Treelands Drive businesses in recent weeks, with reports from traders of a rise in shoplifting and antisocial behaviour.
“We’re not trying to attack the Yamba police,” Mr Reeves said.
“They do a great job with the resources they have, but it’s the service they provide that has been cut.
“We clearly need more service so the question is: where do we go from here?
“The alcohol bans are great and work to a point, but if we don’t have police here we can’t enforce them.”
Mr Reeves said some traders had become so concerned with the increased crime, they were too scared to open when other businesses were closed.
“They don’t want to be the only one open in case they get targeted,” he said.
Mr Reeves said last weekend’s fight couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Yamba.
“We had thousands of people from out of town here on the weekend for the hot rod run and many could have seen the fight,” he said.
“What kind of impression would that have made?”
All who witnessed the fight said it was not connected to the hot rod run.
Police were unavailable for comment yesterday.