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Community urged to help with youth crime

Minister for Western NSW Dugald Saunders has rejected suggestions of making parents responsible for damage caused by their children. Photo contributed

The onus is on members of the Bourke community to support youth intervention programs and services if the crime statistics are ever going to change, according to Minister for Western NSW, Dugald Saunders.

Minister Saunders told 2WEB the police were doing everything they could to stem the rate of car thefts, vandalism and break and enters, but it was up to residents to have ‘skin in the game’.

“Everyone has a role to play and there’s no point people pointing the finger and saying someone is not doing enough or the police are not doing their job,” he said.

“It’s parents and community members being actively involved in some of the programs we are trying to run.

“I understand completely the frustration of people who have had cars stolen and police are doing what they can, but there is no quick, simple fix. It is often a protracted scenario over time, to target who are doing it and to stay ahead of the game.

“Police made some significant arrests late last week of some of the people involved in these crimes and that will make a sizeable difference.

“Other towns are experiencing similar crime issues, but these are not targeted crimes.

“We can’t guarantee that the vet or the doctor or the teacher won’t have their car stolen but I can guarantee we are putting as many resources as we can into the town.

Mr Saunders said he understands how frustrating it is for victims of crime but said that people aren’t targeting doctors’ cars specifically - they are just stealing cars and that needs to be stopped.

“That’s what police are doing every night and it is very difficult to do”, Mr Saunders said.

“And while government can do as much as possible, the community needs skin in the game.

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

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