An organiser who was bashed at a recent event in Byron Shire is organising a community forum to tackle the rising tide of youth violence and crime at halls and outdoor events.
Duncan Shipley-Smith received a black eye and cracked ribs after being assaulted at the recent Maya Winter Solstice at Kohinur Hall.
In response, Mr Shipley-Smith has organised the community forum, which will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Centre from 7pm on Thursday, 6 July.
Mr Shipley-Smith said the event at Kohinur Hall was meant to be a peaceful community event but instead a lot of young people turned up who were ‘swarming over the fences’.
‘Security were run off their feet dealing with a deluge of underage kids under the influence of alcohol and drugs’, he said.
‘What’s at stake here is our music culture and events at halls.
‘We want to come up with a solution to this problem and I’ve invited the mayor (Simon Richardson), the police and community members.
‘We can’t let this minority destroy our culture. They are school aged kids mainly and they steal alcohol and cash.
‘The intention of this forum is to discuss the issues and problems at hand and to take a ‘whole of community’ approach to seeking solutions.
‘The law and order/security aspect is self evident and clearly a priority but there are multiple facets to this issue that include social capital, mental health, substance abuse and the absence of supportive social environments that fosters dysfunctional and anti-social behaviour.
‘I am interested to hear from everyone, including the youths in question, therefore this forum must be seen to be inclusive and open in its agenda and objectives.’