Cafe owner tells Rockhampton CBD riff-raff to get lost
TRACY Jaggard has had enough.
After putting up with vagrants yelling, screaming, fighting, drinking and passing out in the Rockhampton CBD for the past five years, the owner of Brunch's Cafe is making a stand. Working 3am-6pm six days a week, Ms Jaggard sees almost everything that goes on in the CBD and it's not pretty.
"It's a constant bombardment of anti-social behaviour," Ms Jaggard said.
"The problem is the transient homeless and it's progressively getting worse.
"We need to do something. We've got our employees to worry about and we've got our customers to worry about. We don't put up with it anymore. As soon as we see them out there drinking we're onto the police. Last week I called the police five times, other times I've called them three to four times a day."
Ms Jaggard plans to meet with Rockhampton Regional Council, Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne, Rockhampton police and other CBD businesses on Wednesday to discuss the best way to combat the issue.
"We really need to get everyone involved, it can't be just a small group; we need to band together and do something about it as a community," she said.
"We've got this new council plan to revitalise the CBD, but it doesn't matter how much money we spend out here until we fix this social issue.
"It's embarrassing when you have tourists sitting out the front or walking along and they're experiencing what we're experiencing, being yelled at, being asked for money, seeing them fighting with each other or passed out... these people go away and say 'Don't go to Rocky'."
Rockhampton's Senior Sergeant Mel Adams said police patrols had been ramped up in the CBD area and police were actively working with council to manage the situation.
"It's a community problem and we're looking for a community response," Snr Sgt Adams said.
"We have increased patrols in the CBD of a morning. We have also provided background information on previous management plans for the issue to the council and are in discussions with the council."
Mr Byrne supported Ms Jaggard's concerns and praised the Rockhampton police for their hard work in tackling the issue.
"I've spoken about it at Queensland Parliament and to senior police officers," Mr Byrne said.