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Bourke in uproar over lack of justice

Security vision of the offenders breaking into the Mitchell Street residence. Photo supplied

The Bourke community is up in arms over a crime spree last week that left a young Bourke man terrorised by knife wielding youths in the middle of the night and Brewarrina without a vital ambulance vehicle.

To rub salt into the wound, some of the youths allegedly involved in these violent and deliberate crimes have been bailed by the courts, after being denied bail by police.

Police are still searching for two of the five young people who terrorised a 30-year-old Bourke man with knives, stole his vehicle, drove to Brewarrina, and took the Brewarrina ambulance vehicle for a 100-kilometre joy ride last Thursday.

Bourke Mayor, Barry Hollman, has written to the NSW Attorney-General, expressing disappointment with the crime situation and bail provisions.

Councillor Hollman said that serious crime in Bourke that involved a home invasion of a vulnerable member of our community and a stolen ambulance being driven at high speed through the streets of Bourke, were of great concern.

“My understanding is that arrests were made by police and that two youths were initially refused bail by the police, but they appeared before the children’s court on Saturday where they were released on conditional bail,” he said.

One of these youths remains in custody as he failed to meet his bail conditions.

Councillor Hollman has called on the NSW Bail Act Monitoring Group to look at what has happened in Bourke, where he says, the community and victims are not being supported by the bail provisions.

“Put simply”, Councillor Hollman said, “bail decisions are not meeting the community’s expectations.

Brewarrina’s Mayor, Phil O’Connor, said he was sickened by the violent break and enter and the theft of the Bre ambulance.

“I am so disappointed and disgusted, after what we’ve been through lately and what really annoys me is that some of these kids are out on bail,” he said.

“It sickens me that they can go home when they have done this.

“It wasn’t so long ago, back in the culture days, when you got a spear through the leg and dealt with in the appropriate manner, not just letting them out.

“Stealing an ambulance is the lowest act – the ambulance is there to help; imagine if one of those kid’s families needed it and it was out of action?” Councillor O’Connor said.

Many community members have taken to social media, asking for justice, and sympathising with the traumatised victims.

People are asking why young people in western communities are free to commit crimes without consequences. Others are calling for parents to be made responsible for the crimes of their children.

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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