Mayor, MP pledge to tackle crime

Wagga MP Daryl Maguire says he is fighting youth crime with other agencies and the community.MOUNTING pressure to tackle youth crime at a higher level has jolted a response from state MP Daryl Maguire and Wagga mayor Rod Kendall.

It follows a frustratedvictim of crime calling on city leaders to help form a solution to curb the crime spike “inour city that is in serious decline”.

“What are they doing about the rise of crime in Wagga,” Turvey Park’s Tina Gavel asked.

“Police have their hands tied.Something needs to be done collaboratively.”

Mrs Gavel, whose son’s car was smashed into and ransacked this week, has asked that the matter of crime be included as an item of business at the next council meeting on February 8.

Meanwhile, Mr Maguire said he had been working closely with Wagga Police Commander, Superintendent Bob Noble, non-government organisations and community groups, such as Neighbourhood Watch, to formulate a strategy.

Representatives began meeting before Christmas and have since agreed to apply for up to aquarter of a million dollarsunder the state government’s Community Safety Grants to address youth crime.

“We’re onto it,” Mr Maguire said.“Police are doing absolutely all they can. We’ve increased funding to engage youth and other problems.

“The issue also lies in people needing to be more vigilant as a community. I want to see Neighbourhood Watch in every suburb.”

Mayor Rod Kendall said while it was a policing issue, the public had a large role to play.“If people are acting suspiciously, it should be reported to police,” he said.

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