Crime committee expands


Pittwater’s state and federal members will now be invited to join Northern Beaches Council’s Community Safety Committee, following a recent blitz on youth crime in the region.

Pittwater MP Rob Stokes and Federal Member for Mackellar Jason Falinski have been asked to join the committee along with fellow local members Brad Hazzard and Jonathan O’Dea.

The committee meets six times a year to advise Council on community safety, crime prevention and reduction.

Pittwater Councillor Kylie Ferguson lobbied Council to invite the members onto the committee, following increased community concern over youth crime and suicide in the north of the Peninsula.

“The community safety meeting is one that causes a bit of contention in my community [as] it only has the State and Federal members from Manly and we are the Northern Beaches,” she told Council’s March meeting.

“I think it’s imperative that all State and Federal are represented there. We have very robust and different issues at different parts of the Northern Beaches.

“We need to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table, because it is causing a lot of angst out in the community.”

She said she has previously found it difficult to pass on information delivered at the meeting to Mr Stokes and Mr Falinski, as much of it is confidential in nature.

Her calls came as Northern Beaches Police capped off a four-month operation in response to claims of anti-social behaviour among young people.

While local youth crime rates have remained stable over recent years, the blitz, named Operation Summer Safe, saw officers issue more than 100 move-on directions, conduct more than 1,500 person and/or vehicle searches and more than 600 bail compliance checks, and record more than 500 juvenile diversions.

Pittwater MP Rob Stokes says the matters discussed in the committee are relevant to the whole community and it is important to be a part of the discussion.

“Broadening the participation enables a more holistic approach and a greater pool of ideas and opportunities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mackellar member Jason Falinski told Peninsula Living grant funding is available for CCTV cameras to be installed in crime hotspots.

Stephanie Aikins

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