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Young people banned from Orange CBD following weeks of unrest; 30 told to "move on"

September 6, 2022

Police attend an incident in orange. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By David Fitzsimons

The serious extent of juvenile crime and disturbance in Orange has been revealed following a police crackdown in the CBD.

Chief inspector Peter Atkins told Orange City Council’s meeting on Tuesday night a large number of people under 16 had come under police attention.

“About 30 young people, just in the CBD, have been moved on,” Mr Atkins said.

He said some had been charged and issued with notices banning them from the CBD.

Mr Atkins said police had responded following complaints from shopkeepers about a number of juveniles causing trouble in the shops.

The Orange News Examiner has reported that has included attempts to steal goods and the harassing and threatening of staff.

In one case a group of about 10 youths were seen on CCTV hanging around Sportspower on Summer Street.

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.

Mr Atkins told the council the crackdown had produced results.

Chief inspector Atkins during a community meeting in Glenroi earlier this year. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

“Since August we have made a large number of arrests,” he said.

Mr Atkins said some shopkeepers and shopping centre managers had indicated the situation was improving.

He said police had been able to use the Children Protection and Parental Responsibility Act, which enables officers to take home young people at risk of offending or being victims of crime.

Mr Atkins said Orange was the only local government area in the state still using this Act and he supported its retention.

Mr Atkins and superintendent Brendan Gorman will conduct a public meeting next Tuesday, September 13, to discuss the CBD crime situation.

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

Councillors later backed the police meeting and called for the retention of the Act.

Deputy mayor Gerald Power said while council had a role, there were deeper issues involved that government agencies looked after.

Power said he had “vast” experience in dealing with the issue of anti-social behaviour in the community.

“This is not a policy problem, this is not a ministerial problem, it’s a parenting problem,” he said.

He said he had spoken to shop owners, some of the alleged young people involved and their parents.

“I saw those children in the [shopping] centre and I immediately said ‘I am going to talk to your parents',” he said.

Mayor Jason Hamling called on council to lobby the state government to preserve the Act.


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