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Retired Orange businessman calls for action, says 'gangs totally out of control' in Orange CBD

August 30, 2022

Orange City Centre. Facebook.

By Peter Holmes

Richard Hattersley has urged Orange City Council to work with police and retailers to "provide a safe and secure CBD for all to enjoy".

In a letter to mayor Jason Hamling, deputy mayor Gerald Power, councillors Tony Mileto and Jack Evans and CEO David Waddell, retired businessman Hattersley said that when his family "first purchased property in the wonderful Orange region in 1985, I did not for a minute think that I would be sending this email some 37 years later".

"For some months now I have been aware of gangs of kids, some as young as 10, roaming uncontrolled up and down Summer Street and, in particular, running riot through the Orange City Centre," Hattersley wrote.

"They have been making a general nuisance of themselves. In the last couple of weeks, the gangs have been totally out of control. Physical intimidation, stealing and threatening behaviour towards shopkeepers are common place."

Hattersley said council senior management needed to work with police, Orange City Centre management and other affected retailers and community leaders "to try to work out a solution to this growing problem".

Orange City Centre. VisitNSW.

He said he knew a female casual worker at one of the shops in Orange City Centre who felt uncomfortable about taking recycled cardboard to the rubbish room.

"I now have to do it for her," Hattersley said. He said he had raised his voice and told children to leave after finding them lurking in the rubbish area, which is only for tenants and cleaners.

The worker was "also very concerned when walking alone to her car in the public car park on Kite Street", Hattersley said. "Others share her concerns."

The Orange News Examiner reported on Saturday about a group of about 10 youths hanging around Sportspower on Summer Street on Friday afternoon. The store manager Louise Littlefield said it had been an ongoing issue, and that one young person had threatened to burn the shop down during another recent incident.

New Orange police superintendent Brendan Gorman at the station on Monday. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Following an alleged stabbing at Canobolas Rural Technology High School on Monday, superintendent Brendan Gorman spoke to media at Orange Police Station.

When asked about youth-related crime in Orange he said: "There is community concern in regards to youth-related crime ... particularly in the Orange CBD. Police have established a high-visibility policing operation and we will be out and about making sure people are doing the right thing."

On August 20 an officer from Orange Police was hospitalised following an incident on Summer Street.

At about 3pm police were called to Summer Street after two males entered a retail store, where one of the males allegedly threatened the shop attendant with a knife.

The males fled prior to police arrival.

No property was taken.

Inspector David Maher from Orange Police told The Orange News Examiner that a number of officers attended and commenced an investigation into the incident.

Whilst conducting inquiries officers arrested a 13-year-old boy at the location for an alleged earlier stealing from the same store.

During the arrest the boy allegedly resisted officers, resulting in a 39-year-old male police sergeant dislocating his left ankle.

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