Narrendera mayor calls for more police to control spiralling crime rate

NARRANDERA is in the midst of an unprecedented crime-wave, fuelling a push for more police resources.

Mayor Neville Kschenka has requested a meeting with Minister for Police Troy Grant to fight for more officers in the MIA town.

It follows a succession of break-ins, believed to have been orchestrated by “a number of gangs”.

“The number of police we have is just totally inadequate,” Cr Kschenka said.

“It’s just so disappointing our wonderful community is now suffering crime at the same level as many other country towns.

“There’s only a handful of individuals causing our good, law-abiding citizens a great deal of concern.

“Residents are having to lock their doors and windows at all times – nobody feels safe anymore.”

Griffith Local Area Command Inspector Kim Traynor had recently met with representatives from Narrandera Shire Council, including Cr Kschenka and interim general manager Judy Charlton regarding community concerns about recent crime in the area. 

Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson has vowed to continue pushing for more police resources in response to the community unrest.

She recently met with NSW Police Commission Mick Fuller and Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys to air her grievances. 

“I have been informed the Narrandera Police Station is often closed, with police assistance provided from Leeton, some 25 minutes away.

“Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes and I will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of the Narrandera community.”

According to Ms Hodgkinson, Temora has also suffered from the shortfall in police staffing. 

“Unfortunately, for various reasons local officers were unavailable and the Temora community have had to rely on police attendance from Junee, which is up to one hour away,” she said.

“I was informed that three individuals, all of whom have been issued with a ban from (the local) supermarket, boldly walk into the liquor section and on multiple occasions take alcohol off the shelves and simply walk out.

A Fairfax Media survey of more than 300 Narrandera residents found an overwhelming 90 per cent believed crime was spiralling out of control. 

“People are going to start leaving, leaving in droves,” local Michael West said.

“The crooks are beginning to take control of the town.”