It has nearly been 12 months since Tamworth Regional Council convened a public meeting to discuss law and order issues in Tamworth, but following on from all the discussions, meetings and courses of action implemented, is Tamworth any better off?
We have seen additional police resources arrive and any number of meetings with people in authority to further the case for greater action.
But homes are still being broken into and personal property stolen. Making an already unacceptable matter worse is the fact that older residents are being targeted. People like 82-year-old Dorothy Powitt whose East Tamworth home was entered and valuable items, including her car, stolen. She was one of a number of older victims this week. Others include a woman who was 95 and others in their 70s and 80s.
These are not isolated events. Attacks on the homes of elderly residents have been well documented. They feature regularly in the pages of this newspaper.
So 12 months on it is obvious we are not winning the war against crime. This is both disappointing and unacceptable.
The crime rate is also ruining Tamworth’s reputation as a vibrant regional centre.
Just ask Graeme Jones of Casino, who says he and his wife will never return to Tamworth after their caravan holiday here ended when their van was broken into, $700, bank cards, drivers’ licences, sunglasses, personal effects and iTune cards purchased for Christmas presents were all stolen.
He reports other caravaners staying in the same park did not feel safe after the incident and so they too moved on.
An appalling crime rate and some of the highest petrol prices in NSW is hardly a welcome mat for visitors.
If we have additional police why aren’t the parasites who are feeding off other people’s hard work not being caught?
Why is one lot of criminals being replaced with another?
Why are we still seeing the same incidents that sparked a major public outcry for action more than 18 months later?
It would appear the strategies in place are not working. Why?