Topics:  assault, paul pisasale

It’s time to take action

SCENE OF TROUBLE: Concerns have been raised about the behaviour of youths at a park at Omar St, West Ipswich.
SCENE OF TROUBLE: Concerns have been raised about the behaviour of youths at a park at Omar St, West Ipswich. Sarah Harvey

IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale has called for tougher penalties for violent offenders in the wake of a brutal bashing and a public outcry about gangs of youths endangering the safety of innocent citizens.

Residents who live close to the CBD have contacted The QT about the issue and Cr Pisasale got to see firsthand the aftermath of the bashing of two men by a gang of youths recently.

One of the victims later rang Cr Pisasale about the incident.

He saw photos of the man's head, which he described as "a bloodied mess". The man has permanent facial scarring.

"The penalties for people who cause damage to property and attack people has got to be increased dramatically," Cr Pisasale said.

"I have put in Safe City cameras, but these people get arrested by the police and they get a slap on the wrist.

"The cameras did their job. The police have done their job. But now the judiciary has to start dishing out penalties that we expect as a community."

Cr Pisasale said there was "a need to start putting a curfew" in areas such as parks where the gangs gathered.

Inspector Dave Preston said there had been "nothing out of the ordinary" in the number of assaults in recent times but he assured The QT police were well aware of the problem relating to groups of youths behaving badly in one West Ipswich park in Omar St.

"We have got patrols that are targeting that area after hours and there will be increased patrols over the next couple of weeks," he said.

Inspector Preston said he was working with the council and judicial system to solve the problem.

"We want to work with the council on this because the last thing we want is a bad name for Ipswich," he said.

"We are also working with the courts in relation to bail. Hopefully if they do re-offend and come back before the magistrate here, the magistrate should deal with them appropriately and they remain in custody until we go to a trial."

The Safe City cameras helped police identify some of the culprits after one recent attack.

"The attack took place outside of the sight of the CCTV cameras, but CCTV helped us track them down because they were seen walking towards the park," Inspector Preston said.



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