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Top cops to meet public after outcry over crime and young troublemakers

September 2, 2022

Youth were creating headaches at Sportspower last Friday. Supplied.

By Peter Holmes

A meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday September 13, 2022 so members of the public can ask questions of two of the Central West's highest ranking police officers.

The meeting is in Orange Regional Gallery Theatre at 10am.

Superintendent Brendan Gorman and chief inspector Peter Atkins will conduct the meeting.

The public forum comes in the wake of a series of incidents in Orange in recent times.

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.

Superintendent Brendan Gorman at Orange Police Station this week. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Following a stabbing at Canobolas Rural Technology High School on Monday, 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.

The Orange News Examiner reported this week on retired businessman Richard Hattersley urging 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.

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.

Orange City Centre. Supplied.

"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."

Earlier this year Atkins met with residents in Glenroi after a spate of vehicles being stolen and torched.

Atkins did a solid job in defending his officers, explaining that the station had a maximum of three police vans in operation at any one time, and that officers were constantly forced to make judgements on competing priorities.

If they couldn't get to you quickly, he said, it was because they were required elsewhere in the city at a job considered more pressing. Or were transporting people to be incarcerated in Bathurst or Dubbo.

He said that each year officers were called to about 800 mental health incidents in the community.

There were also hundreds of bail checks to ensure people were where they were supposed to be (those who weren't then had to be tracked down); and more than 300 domestic violence incidents reported annually.

After being stolen from a young woman, a car was torched earlier this week at the hockey fields.

Are you a shop owner, manager or worker in Orange? Contact us at to have your say.

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