Will Cordwell from the Ascot Hotel looks forward to the legal system clamping down on young offenders.
Will Cordwell from the Ascot Hotel looks forward to the legal system clamping down on young offenders. Allan Reinikka

Clean up this town!

ROCKHAMPTON'S Ascot Hotel owner Will Cordwell has put the venue's $30million expansion plans on hold until the courts clamp down on unruly young offenders.

Will's hotel has been targeted in recent weeks – the latest time on Sunday night when six youths broke in, smashing windows before stealing a few bottles of rum and small amount of cash.

Police have charged six juveniles – five boys and one girl aged between 13 and 16 – in relation to the break-in.

The Ascot is not the only business suffering with another nearby hotel also reportedly hit three times in the past week.

Police yesterday issued a warning to home and business owners to be vigilant with the security of their possessions in the wake of a spike in property-related offences during the past fortnight.

Having praised police for catching the alleged offenders, Will said it was now up to magistrates to hand down deterrent penalties to “clean up the town”.

“The legal system needs to step up and do away with these slap on the wrist penalties because they're not working,” Mr Cordwell said.

He said the business community needed confidence that the situation was being addressed.

If things didn't improve he said businesses would resort to initiating civil actions against individuals for their losses.

“I have spoken with some business owners in relation to this.

“I'm hoping in the near future to talk to those in the legal services to find out how far we can take these actions.”

He feared this could flood the courts with extra work.

The series of break-ins comes with work set to start soon on a revamp of the hotel, which would see a $30million overhaul.

The hotel would feature 103 four-star rooms.

“I am putting things on hold at this stage to reconsider the situation,” he said.

“I am asking myself how much more security and extra money will I need to spend?”

Late yesterday afternoon three of the six youths charged in relation to the Ascot Hotel break-in appeared in the Rockhampton Children's Court. It's understood police objected to bail for all three youths.

A spokeswoman for the court said two were granted bail and one was held in custody.

One will re-appear in court today while the other two will face court again on June 14, when the other three will also appear.



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