Shopkeeper ‘sick, tired’ of youth crime on the terrace

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Shopkeepers at the west end of Marine Terrace say they are fed up with break-ins and anti-social behaviour in the street.
Camera IconShopkeepers at the west end of Marine Terrace say they are fed up with break-ins and anti-social behaviour in the street. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian

Several shopkeepers along Marine Terrace want a greater police presence at the west end of Marine Terrace to help curb criminal and antisocial behaviour.

Aussie Shop owner Gary Clement-Burns said $150 was taken from his register earlier this month and about $1000 worth of merchandise and money was stolen from him last year.

The 75-year-old said about 5.30pm on January 4, four girls aged between about 14 and 17 came into the souvenir store.

He told them he was about to close the shop but they remained inside, walking down a side aisle.

Mr Clement-Burns said he stood up from his position at the front counter and two of the girls walked outside.

When he walked towards the other two girls at the back of the shop, one came to the front of the shop and stole his mobile phone and the coin tray from his cash register, which was open.

“I’m sick and tired of them pinching stuff,” he said.

“It’s always on a Thursday, or a Sunday and Saturday afternoon.

“I know they’ve been pinching stuff from a lot of shops. We need more patrols, especially on Thursdays and Saturdays.”

Other shopkeepers along Marine Terrace, who asked to remain anonymous, said they had seen people, particularly youths, shoplifting, hitting signs, ripping flowers out of pots, tipping things over and yelling and swearing.

One woman said she had a satchel of sugar thrown at her.

Geraldton police operations manager Sergeant Drue Pardoe said police were aware of the antisocial behaviour and were responding accordingly.

“As per our Summer Crime Strategy, Geraldton police have had increased patrols conducted especially within the Central Business District,” she said.

“This includes vehicle, bike and foot patrols. We continue to engage with the community at community events and also police-initiated actions like the ongoing Coffee with a Cop.”

Sgt Pardoe said Geraldton police were aware of anti-social behaviour, particularly that which occurred on Thursday nights, and they responded to all incidents that were reported to police.

“In regards to the specific issue of the youths on a Thursday and Friday evening, Geraldton police and the youth crime officers are constantly working with the youths, community groups and stakeholders to minimise or reduce these issues,” Sgt Pardoe said.

To report suspicious activity and non-life threatening crime, contact Geraldton police on 131 444.

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