Leaders react after manager ‘stomped on head’
SWIFT action has been taken by community leaders this week in response to a shocking letter from a business owner who said he was “stomped on the head” during an alleged attack by a gang of youths.
Lismore Central property manager Rob Walker penned a letter late last year to rally business owners, Lismore City Council and state and federal MPs and crack down on ‘little thugs’ running amok in the city.
Police acting crime manager, Acting Inspector Bernadette Ingram, was among business owners, Lismore Square and Central centre management as well as Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry heads at a meeting to discuss the issue on Wednesday.
Chamber vice-president Andrew Gordon said the meeting aim was to determine the extent of the problem.
Mr Gordon said he was “shocked” by the letter from Mr Walker, who also is a member of the chamber.
“We’ve come together as a united front to send the message this won’t be tolerated,” he said.
For Lismore MP Thomas George, the main message to come out of the meeting was to report crime to the police.
Acting Insp Ingram and Superintendent Greg Martin encouraged businesses to report crime via the Police Assistance Line as well as with local police.
The line is available for victims of a crime to report crimes other than life threatening or time critical emergency situations, as well as complaints.
Mr Gordon said PAL would allow businesses to “build a portfolio” of incidents to have a “history to use in our defence”.
He said the meeting aimed to change a culture of reporting to police “only when (crime) gets to a boiling point”.
Acting Insp Ingram said CBD crime has reduced in the past few weeks and said police on the ground had made an impact.
In particular she said collaboration between police and security at Lismore Square and Central has been constructive.
“We are very happy with the way security is working with police to try and resolve the issue,” she said.
The panel will meet again in earlier February.