White Ribbon Day 2009

For White Ribbon Day in the Shoalhaven nine hundred men will gather at the Entertainment Centre to stand together to send a message. Ray Carrall of the YWCA is hoping bringing men together will further strengthen the message of White Ribbon Day – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Ray Carrall took the time to explain the motivation of the day and the issue of domestic violence with Crossfire.

Fire at Carpet Choice in Fairy Meadow

Early on Tuesday evening a fire broke out at Carpet Choice in Fairy Meadow, destroying the building and its contents.

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Black smoke bellowed from the roof as the fire began to take hold of the rest of the building and it wasn’t long before two metre high flames could be seen flapping from the building. A small crowd began to gather and people emerged from their houses as the first emergency response team arrived, an ambulance.

Within minutes the fire had spread through the building and signage at the front of the building began to collapse inwards; the white paneled walls of the building were a visible bright orange colour. As the fire brigades arrived small explosions could be heard coming from inside. Sparks were flying from the power lines attached to the front of the building, but even more sparks were spraying from the angle grinder a fireman used to cut open the front door.

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Carpet Choice owner Mick Greham has since been wondering what caused the fire and what he’ll do to restore his business, “we’ve lost everything” he told crossfire today (Thursday). Mr Greham was already at home, forty minutes away, after locking up for the night and leaving at 5:20 when security rang him.

Despite the economic downturn “business has been good” says Mr Greham. “We have customers still…people have paid deposits, we just have to keep going”.

police have been stationed out the front of the complex since the fire which has been classified as a crime scene. So far there are no clues as to how the fire started and the area is yet to be secured for people to enter and investigate. Reports of a car soon after the fire started leaving the area are being followed up by police.

Mr Greham moved to Australia on the 12thDecember 1986 with 500 pounds in his pocket. He worked three jobs to obtain the Carpet Choice business; one of which was as a fireman, although his experience has not given him any clues as to how the blaze started. “We’re always careful, make sure every-things off and every-things wrapped up”, he says.

Carpet Choice has experienced numerous attacks from vandals. The business was burgled twice in October last year and has had the locks super glued shut three times in twelve months.

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Mr Greham is now focused on finding another location for his family business and continuing to serve his customers. He says many of the comforting phone calls he has received have come former customers.

Tony Cafe of T.C Forensic will be investigating the cause of the fire and assessing the damage once access to the area is granted. Mr Cafe has been involved in assessing several Wollongong fires including the Ethanol Tank which exploded at Port Kembla in 2004.

Mr Greham is unable to contact customers as all his records and contacts were lost in the fire. If you are a customer of Carpet Choice Wollongong please contact Mr Greham on 42250900.

Crime prevention; CCTV in central Wollongong

Another 40 CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras have been activated in Wollongong. 40 have already been operating since January 2007.

The cameras record 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can be viewed and monitored by Wollongong police. Funded by the federal government as part of the National Community Crime Prevention Program, the cameras are a crime prevention tool and are intended to promote safer public spaces.

Crossfire spoke to Senior Lecturer Mark Loves of the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention to get an insight into crime prevention using CCTV.

Death Toll now at 5

The NSW holiday tool is now at five after two deaths on the roads over the weekend in separate accidents.

A 38 year old man from Lemon Tree Passage was killed when his motorbike collided with a bus in Boolambayte in the early evening.

Police are still investigating the incident but believe the two vehicles collided when the motorbike rider attempted to over take the bus as it was turning right. The rider dies at the scene, no one on the bus was hurt.

In the second accident, a truck rolled killing the driver late on Sunday night. The accident occured on th ePacific Highway in Coffs harbour, near the Big Banana. The 34 year old from Queensland was trapped and died at the scene.

Police are reminding people to slow down and be cautious on the roads during the Christmas/New Year period.

Man drowns at Mollymook Beach

A man has drowned at Mollymook Beach after entering the water in an attempt to assist his two teenage sons, 19 and 17.

The two boys got into trouble in the water sometime after 4pm. Their 50 year old father was trying to rescue them.

Other members of the same family called  the police for help and two surfers managed to pull the teenagers to safety.

Attempts to revive the father were fruitless. A report is being prepared for the coroner by police.

Arrests made at Homebake music festival

The festival season has begun with 20 000 people attending yesterday’s Homebake festival at The Domain in Sydney.

NSW police have issued warnings to trouble makers saying there will be a “zero tolerance” attitude towards anti-social behaviour.

As of 8pm yesterday 8 people had been charged with alleged drug supply including a man charged with possession of 28 ecstasy tablets. Overall, 87 drug detections were made with 76 people being charged.

Since 2007 Homebake has become an over 18’s event because of tight licensing regulations. Twenty four youths received infringement notices for trying to use fake id’s to enter the event.

NSW police have vowed to combat anti-social behavior over summer. Operation simmer was launched on December 1, NSW Minister for police Tony Kelly says this is a pro-active approach to controlling car hoons, licensing issues and drug and alcohol offences.