Polic­ing a fine line

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North - opin­ion Andrew Kerdel, Blue­wa­ter

RE: ‘‘ Thrill seek­ers caught’’ ( TB, March 24).

In re­la­tion to what oc­curred that week­end and be­ing a res­i­dent, there is an­other side to the story.

Se­nior - sergeant Damien Crosby and his as­sis­tants con­ducted their op­er­a­tion over the week­end of March 19-20 hunt­ing down ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers on dirt bikes to ap­pease some res­i­dents on Forestry Rd.

Is this an ap­pro­pri­ate use of po­lice re­sources to rid the com­mu­nity of the scourge of chil­dren on mo­tor­cy­cles ter­ror­is­ing the law abid­ing res­i­dents of Forestry Rd? Are there no more real crim­i­nals to catch?

The cel­e­brated cap­ture of the nine-year-old vil­lain and his 15-year-old part­ner in crime on the quad bike as de­tailed by Nathan Paull, high­lights how far the po­lice have digressed from what is im­por­tant life sav­ing po­lice work and what is merely mak­ing head­lines and pan­der­ing to the whinge­ing and whin­ing of res­i­dents who prob­a­bly shouldn’t have moved to a ru­ral area in the first place.

Forestry Rd has a 20 me­tre wide grassed verge ( main­tained by the res­i­dents, not coun­cil) be­tween the ru­ral blocks and the road edge. The chil­dren men­tioned were travers­ing along this at lit­tle more than walk­ing pace.

They were trav­el­ling up the grassed area be­side the road to a res­i­dence some 450m away on the same side of the road.

These boys were not hooning, speed­ing or caus­ing a pub­lic nui­sance, merely trav­el­ling slowly to one of their prop­er­ties so they could ride their bikes at his track out the back.

In con­trast to the pour­ing of po­lice re­sources into this all im­por­tant op­er­a­tion to catch kids on dirt bikes, on Fe­bru­ary 25 I wit­nessed a nasty head-on col­li­sion at the in­ter­sec­tion of Forestry Rd and the Bruce High­way.

We as­sisted the two el­derly peo­ple who were in­jured in the ac­ci­dent ( one of whom had chest pain and trou­ble breath­ing) and helped di­rect traf­fic on a busy Fri­day af­ter­noon.

In the lengthy time we stayed there help­ing I watched two am­bu­lances ar­rive one af­ter an­other, take time to treat the vic­tims, then take them to hos­pi­tal, then two tow trucks ar- rived and be­gan load­ing the car wrecks be­fore any po­lice even at­tended the scene.

Surely there are more press­ing is­sues that need the at­ten­tion of a Se­nior sergeant and his off­sider for an en­tire week­end, than hunt­ing down, per­se­cut­ing and in­tim­i­dat­ing the chil­dren of our com­mu­nity of Blue­wa­ter who are try­ing to en­joy some recre­ational rid­ing on their dirt bikes in an area where t here are very f ew places left to do so.

IS THIS A CRIME: A quad bike rider hits his straps in a ru­ral area

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