Clarence Town under seige

Shop owners Helena Morris and Marc Pearce are trying to organise a meeting with the NSW Police Commissioner.In the past few months Marc Pearce has faced threats of having his head kicked in, his business burned to the ground and stones hurled at his car, while fellow business owner Helena Morris has been the victim of a robbery.

Not what you’d expect from the idyllic village of Clarence Town.

But in recent times the once-quiet town has been transformed into a place of growing criminal activity and residents have had enough.

Last month Clarence Town Progress Association members launched a campaign – Reclaim Our Town – calling for the town’s condemned police station to be renovated and re-opened, and for a police officer to be in attendance on a permanent basis.

“People have threatened to kick my head in, burn my cafe down and I’ve had stones thrown at my car,” association member and business owner Marc Pearce said. “This sort of thing is changing the face of our town and if it keeps going we’re going to end up like some places in Sydney.

“We have a large elderly population here and some people are scared to leave their own homes. We are going to fight this until we have a police officer here on a permanent basis.”

More than half of the Clarence Town community has also signed a petition calling for more police presence.

“We are in the process of trying to pin down the NSW Police Commissioner for a meeting because this issue needs to be resolved; we realise it all comes down to dollars but this can’t go on,” Mr Pearce said. “The only way this sort of behaviour will end is if we have an officer living in the town.”

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