Thousands sign to take on crime

THE push for a drug squad and dog unit for Tamworth has been bolstered after an anti-drug crusader presented a local MP with a petition calling for the desperately-needed police resources to stamp out narcotics-fuelled crime.

THE push for a drug squad and dog unit for Tamworth has been bolstered after an anti-drug crusader presented a local MP with a petition calling for the desperately-needed police resources to stamp out narcotics-fuelled crime.

Renee Bourne, 35, gave the document containing 5000 signatures to member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson yesterday, outside her father, Barry Bourne’s, takeaway store which was robbed at knifepoint in a suspected drug-fuelled attack last year

Speaking to the media scrum present, Ms Bourne said Tamworth has changed dramatically in recent years and described the increase in crime as “just incredible”.

She said she has received “a lot of backing (and) a lot of support” from the community since deciding to take a stand after her parents’ second business – the Hiway Superette – was also the target of a hold-up less than four months later.

Mr Anderson congratulated Ms Bourne on her efforts and made assurances that petitions such as these still held political weight. 

They can have “significant impact,” he said.

“What it is, is the voice of the people, and it’s not just one voice. It’s thousands of people calling for action and when thousands of people call for action you’ve got to sit up and take notice and that’s what these petitions will do.”

In response to a question raised about the state government’s ability to pay for a drug squad, likely to be made up of about seven personnel, Mr Anderson said it was up to “each individual department to come up with funding” as they had a “community service obligation to keep our streets safe”.

The Nationals MP is expected to lodge the petition when NSW parliament sits today.

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