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Cairns residents to rally against crime

A local advocacy group will run a vehicle rally against crime this Saturday. 

The Crime and Justice Action Group (CJAG) has received approval from Queensland Police to host the demonstration from Down Park, Edmonton to Munro Martin Park in the Cairns CBD.

Spokesperson Aaron McLeod describes the CJAG as “a peaceful, residents-focused advocacy, lobby and action group”. 

The organisation promotes a non-partisan and apolitical crime prevention plan focused on five priority areas, including parent empowerment and accountability.

The community response comes as a 14-year-old boy faces a total of nine charges following his arrest on Saturday.

The teenager is scheduled to appear before the Cairns Children’s Court charged with two counts each of attempted fraud and entering a premises, four counts of fraud and one count of unlawful possession of a category H weapon. 

Cairns Police also charged two boys aged 12 and 13 following multiple complaints of alleged unruly behaviour in the CBD on Monday. 

Police located the pair on a roof in Water Street where they were allegedly throwing cans at residents below.

The 13-year-old boy was also charged over incidents at a Manunda shopping centre on October 10 and 15. 

It’s alleged the teenager assaulted a security officer and patrons at the centre, as well as stole property from a grocery store.

The pair face multiple charges including several counts of trespass and common assault. 

McLeod said Cairns Regional Council survey results have shown crime is a serious concern for Cairns residents.

“Based on a recent Council survey, it is shocking to think that approximately 50% of Cairns residents feel safe at home,” Mr McLeod said.

Initial survey results of over 6000 respondents indicate that more than three-quarters generally feel safe where they live, but only 47% feel safe in their suburb at all times. 

Almost three quarters of respondents said they had not been a victim of crime in the past five years.  

Property and vehicle theft topped the list of those impacted by crime.