Residents meet with council over Umina oval security
Representatives of Umina Community Group, local residents, a security company and a kiosk proprietor have met with the mayor, another councillor and a council acting-director in an attempt to have security improved at Umina Oval.
Umina Community Group secretary Mr Peter Springett and vice-president Mr Mark Nitsos attended the meeting on Tuesday, July 17, with Mayor Cr Jane Smith, Cr Rebecca Gale Collins and Council acting-director Mr Boris Bolgoff.
Mr Ashley Sefton of Alpha K9 Security and local residents Ms Brie Rodgers and Ms Leanne Kirby joined Jasmine Greens operator Ms Gabby Greyem at the meeting.
"All attendees pleaded with Council for better lighting of the area, lighting of the skate park and increased security patrols," Ms Greyem said.
"They also asked for more youth services and youth workers to be present in the area," she said.
"We have only had one visit from the Regional Youth Support Services Bus in two years.
"We haven't seen Council youth workers in the area for years.
"Currently I play the role of park ranger, youth worker, first aid officer and general community helper - responding to injured children, calling ambulances, calling Council when the toilets or park equipment is broken, calling the police when, as happened today, teenagers set a butane can on fire in the park.
"This is over and beyond my responsibilities as a tenant of Council."
Ms Greyem said the mayor was told of a Saturday night gathering of over 250 teenagers in the area.
"When police arrived, the teenagers ran into the dark and couldn't be identified as it was so dark.
"Mr Sefton told the mayor that his company is contracted by Council to run dog-assisted security patrols of Terrigal CBD and Gosford CBD.
"These patrols, accompanied by lighting, have worked to make these areas safe at night.
"He told the mayor that the same approach needed to be taken in Umina.
"Brie Rodgers and Leanne Kirby said there has been no improvement in crime prevention or in the provision of youth services on the Peninsula, since they held a community meeting hosted by former State Member for Gosford Ms Kathy Smith in 2016.
"Mark Nitsos explained to the mayor that he had been trying to get the lights turned on in the Peninsula Recreation Precinct at night for several months, but despite promises that the lights would be turned on, they had not been turned on.
"Mr Nitsos told the mayor and Mr Bolgoff that it was imperative that the area was flood lit at night like Bateau Bowl and Banjo's Skate Park.
"He said no lights had been tried for years and there had been no reduction crime.
"He said lights were needed to deter crime and antisocial behaviour.
"I presented the mayor with more than 2000 petition signatures collected over the past two years and asked for formal recognition of receipt from Council.
"I also put together a summary for the meeting which was given to the mayor and all meeting attendees."
Ms Greyem said: "Council has a positive role to play in building positive community experiences.
"The recreation precinct is a vibrant community hub which needs a small investment from Council to make it a safe and thriving destination all of the time."
Ms Greyem said support for the measures outlined to Cr Smith and Mr Bolgoff had included endorsement from the Member for Robertson Ms Lucy Wicks and Mr Taylor Martin MLC and Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch.
She also said letters of support from the community, media coverage of the issues and support from local business and community organisations was evidence the Council needed to act.
Media release, 17 Jul 2018
Gabby Greyem, Jasmine Greens