Border escape for criminal

John Murray experienced flaws in cross-border police first hand at Point Danger.
John Murray experienced flaws in cross-border police first hand at Point Danger. Crystal Spencer

POLICE were in no state to help a crime victim after he was attacked because it happened on the Qld side of the border and the attacker fled into NSW.

Former Tweed Shire councillor John Murray had to get six stitches to treat a head wound after a man, believed to be homeless, struck him from behind with a large piece of wood in broad daylight at Point Danger on Tuesday.

“It happened on the Queensland side of the border and he took off over Boundary Street into New South Wales,” Mr Murray said.

“The Queensland police turned up and said they were not allowed to cross the middle of the road and take action in New South Wales.

“I was still on the ground and I got pretty angry.”

Mr Murray said witnesses could point out exactly what house the man had fled to, but the Coolangatta officers were required to phone Tweed Heads police to pursue him.

By the time Tweed Heads officers arrived the man had escaped.

Mr Murray questioned why the Queensland officers where not trained as special constables, who in certain circumstances can cross the border.

“I’m aware the Tweed Byron police have a very high per cent of officers that are special constables,” he said.

“And it’s my belief there are not many Queensland police who are special constables and can cross the border into New South Wales.”

Mr Murray said thugs were using the invisible line to exploit cross-border policing.

“If that’s the way we’re going to operate here in Australia, well, let’s get rid of the states,” he said.

“Queensland police have to wake up to themselves and realise we’re all Australians.

“They need to start doing their share of work in the border towns of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta.”

But Mr Murray said Tweed Heads police had their share of issues as well.

“There’s simply not enough of them,” he said.

“I’m voicing my disgust at the poor police numbers and resulting loss of visible police here on the Tweed.

“There’s too much political talk and not enough action.”

Mr Murray said he was not criticising police on the street but added the region was affected by a myriad of other issues.

“I’m pretty cranky when I look at what’s happening with society,” he said.

“Police do not have the laws, they do not have the teeth to act with underage offenders.

“A policeman has told me off the record they would rather look the other way than step in when they see youth playing up.”

He believed perpetrators had more rights than victims.

“The Tweed-Coolangatta area now has a reputation Australia-wide as having a youth violence and street violence problem,” Mr Murray said.

“But enough is enough.

“It’s at the point I tell people not to walk around the streets at night.”

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