Poor light­ing un­ac­cept­able as teen fights off at­tacker

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

CON­CERNS have been raised about poorly lit streets in Port Dou­glas af­ter a brave teenager fought off a pos­si­ble at­tack on Warner St last Thurs­day night.

The 19-year-old wo­man was walk­ing home along af­ter fin­ish­ing work around mid­night on Thurs­day, ac­cord­ing to Port Dou­glas Of­fi­cer-in-charge Sergeant Damian Meadows, when she cut through the va­cant bloke be­tween Warner and Mow­bray Streets and was grabbed from be­hind.

“She felt like she was be­ing fol- lowed, she was in the dark­est street and when she’d been grabbed from be­hind at that lo­ca­tion she spun around and de­fended her­self quite ad­mirably,” Sgt Meadows said.

“She used her knee in the right di­rec­tion.”

Friends of the wo­man wrote into the Gazette about their con­cerns over poor street light­ing and com­mu­nity safety af­ter the at­tack.

“Luck­ily she was able to fight him off and es­cape, but it was a trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence,” the friends wrote.

“When are the safety of lo­cals and vis­i­tors go­ing to be taken seri- ously by the pow­ers-that-be.

“Our com­plaint - Warner St and the lack of light­ing and footpaths.

“Many hos­pi­tal­ity work­ers face a walk home late at night by ei­ther not hav­ing their own trans­port, or fin­ish­ing af­ter the pub­lic trans­port ser­vices have ceased. “

OIC Meadows said that the com­mu­nity should be mind­ful about walk­ing home alone and in the darker streets of Port Dou­glas.

“I’ve seen women in this town walk­ing the length of Port Dou­glas Rd at all hours of day and night, I know you can’t blame but there’s a par­tic­u­lar el­e­ment of so­ci­ety that will prey on that,” he said.

“Port Dou­glas is com­pla­cent and com­pla­cency lends it­self to of­fend­ers and it’s not just women, I’ve seen peo­ple down Macrossan St, in­tox­i­cated and ly­ing in the grass hav­ing a camp.”

One of the up­set friends who wrote to the Gazette also works in hos­pi­tal­ity and said it is time the coun­cil did some­thing about Warner and Mudlo St be­fore some­one else is at­tacked.

“It is not just the lo­cals but tourists who also com­plain about in­ad­e­quate light­ing and lack of footpaths,” they wrote.

“There is no op­tion other than to walk on the road day and night, as walk­ing on the side is to dan­ger­ous be­cause of the ex­posed tree roots.

“The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is un­ac­cept­able and should be a pri­or­ity to be fixed be­fore a more an­other at­tack oc­curs and or an ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing ve­hi­cles.

“It’s time our safety was taken se­ri­ously.”

Po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent and are ap­peal­ing to any­one with in­for­ma­tion to call po­lice on 4087 1999 or Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

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