SHATTERED: Andrew Wakefield of J’Adore Diamonds in Nowra’s Rodway Arcade inspects a window broken during a weekend brawl.VIOLENCE in Nowra’s central business district on Friday night spilled into the Rodway Arcade, shattering a window in the process.
The window of J’Adore Diamonds was shattered during a fight in the arcade, erupting just after midnight when a group moved on from outside the Postman’s Tavern clashed with another group in the street.
The brawling continued in Rodway Arcade, where the window was shattered.
J’Adore Diamonds owner Andrew Wakefield said people in the vicinity heard the sounds of people fighting in the arcade, accompanied by a loud crack as his window was hit or kicked.
He said it was a simple act of vandalism, as there was no attempt to enter the store or get through the security grille behind the glass.
“It’s a shame this had to happen to a new business trying to get established in town,” Mr Wakefield said.
While many traders have pinned their hopes on CCTV cameras to help catch people committing vandalism, Mr Wakefield said it would do little to help Rodway Arcade.
He said the arcade was too dark for cameras to be effective, and council had put no cameras in the arcade or in Schofields Lane.
However private security cameras were in Schofields Lane shops, and Mr Wakefield said they might have captured images of people responsible for shattering his window.
Shoalhaven Mayor Paul Green admitted lighting in Rodway Arcade was a problem for the security cameras.
“It’s probably not to the degree that could be helpful in being aware of people doing the wrong thing,” he said.
“We never said the cameras were going to be infallible, they’re more for gathering intelligence,” Cr Green added.
Mr Wakefield said the CBD really needed increased police presence or private security people patrolling the business region on Friday and Saturday nights between 10pm and about 3am.
The attack on J’Adore Diamonds came in the same week as windows were smashed at Nowra’s Target Country and The Photo Place before thieves broke in through the broken glass.
Police investigations into all incidents are continuing.
Stern warning after officers assaulted
TWO police officers were knocked to the ground and kicked and punched during a weekend of drunken violence in and around Nowra.
The incident occurred during one of three brawls, prompting a stern warning from police.
Inspector Joe Thone from Nowra police said officers were “appalled” at the level of drunken violence during a weekend in which five people were arrested for drink-driving offences.
“Police recognise the right of any individual to consume alcohol and enjoy the celebrations offered within the Shoalhaven, however police will not tolerate it when the behaviour adversely affects others in the community or when the level of intoxication leads to offensive behaviour, violence and public disobedience,” Inspector Thone said.
With the weather warming up and the number of parties increasing, Inspector Thone said officers were ready to crack down on public intoxication, violence and social disobedience.
“Police will be out in force throughout the Shoalhaven over the summer months, and such behaviour will not be tolerated at any level,” he said.
“Be reminded that one night of revelling can have dramatic consequences for you for the rest of your life.”
Incidents occurring over the weekend included brawls on the West Street oval, in Nowra’s central business district and in North Nowra.
There was also a glassing in Huskisson, and an incident on Saturday night when police were called to Quickmatch Street, Nowra, about 9.15pm to reports of a youth damaging property and vehicles.
A 17-year-old youth was arrested after a struggle that allegedly required use of capsicum spray.
He was charged with two counts of malicious damage, two counts of assaulting police and a further charge of resisting arrest, and will face Nowra Children’s Court in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, South Coast MP Shelley Hancock yesterday called on the state government to increase the authorised strength of the Shoalhaven Local Area Command.
She also requested Shoalhaven City Council to increase alcohol free zones across the city in order to curb anti-social behaviour and violence.
“I am appalled at the level of alcohol fuelled violence across the South Coast, particularly when it results in the assault of our local police men and women,” she said.
“It is becoming clearer, that whilst our police men and women do a fantastic job with the resources they are given, there are simply not enough of them.”
job for Nowra’s
NOWRA’S security cameras are operating.
The CCTV cameras installed in the Nowra CBD a year ago were switched on after a memorandum of understanding between police and Shoalhaven City Council was signed on Friday, and captured images from a range of events occurring over the weekend.
Police were yesterday checking footage to help identify people involved in incidents, including an attack on two police officers early on Saturday morning as they tried to break up a brawl.
Shoalhaven Local Area Commander, Superintendent Wayne Starling, said the cameras were “going to be a great tool for the community”.
However he stressed, “it’s just one tool”.
Footage from cameras was particularly useful when a person was assaulted, and often arrived at the police station confused, upset and with their heart pounding.
The cameras removed emotion from the situation, Superintendent Starling said, capturing footage of events that was clear, concise and unambiguous.
Because of that, cameras had in the past helped solve murders and robberies, he said.
Superintendent Starling said images from a CCTV camera were not just about getting a clear shot of a person’s face, as police believed images of clothing, how many people were present in a location, and biomechanics were all important.
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