CIVIC leaders hope a second crime and law and order meeting at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre at 6pm tomorrow will bring better results in fighting crime rates.
While two of the city’s leaders agree that crime in some areas has dropped during the past nine months, they say they hope more will be done this time around.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said he believed if there was a good crowd turnout, there would be no way the state government could get away with not listening.
“With a lot of voices the message we want to pass on will be heard. I honestly believe we can make a difference,” Cr Murray said.
Cr Murray said he hoped the attendance of Attorney-General Greg Smith, the government’s “main player behind law making”, would open his eyes a bit.
“It will be great to have the opportunity to demonstrate to Mr Smith what we are doing, what we have been doing and what we plan to keep doing by working together to make our city a better, safer city,” he said.
Cr Murray said the king-hit injury of a 27-year-old Tamworth man at the Brisbane St taxi rank in the early hours of Sunday morning was one example of how bad things in the city could get if the community did nothing.
“We are not yet at a point where we need to introduce the extremes other places have to combat these kind of problems, but that incident is certainly a glimpse of the future, in terms of what we could expect if we were to do nothing,” he said.
In terms of outcomes from the meeting, Cr Murray and deputy mayor Russell Webb agreed this time the community would be likely to demand a much faster response to its concerns.
“Regardless of what the motions are to come from the meeting, I can guarantee the community won’t be tolerant of any delays,” Cr Murray said.
Some of the big issues the pair suggested might be brought to Mr Smith’s notice included the community’s frustration over what little power they had to stop things like crime and anti-social behaviour from happening.
“A lot of attention has been given to stronger policing,” Cr Webb said.
“Policing isn’t the biggest issue at the moment.
“The biggest issue is that offenders are doing the crime and do not appear to be doing the time.”
Cr Webb said he believed it was time the government bit the bullet.
“They need to have the guts to make the hard decisions and bring in some new laws that introduce a range of penalties which the courts are forced to deliver and are severe enough to deter people from offending and re-offending,” he said.