Barambah local justice group acting chair Lillian Gray welcomed the change of new police in Cherbourg and Murgon.
Barambah local justice group acting chair Lillian Gray welcomed the change of new police in Cherbourg and Murgon. Jessica McGrath

Building rapport and respect in Cherbourg

BARAMBAH local justice group looks forward to working with the new police officers appointed to tackle crime in Cherbourg and Murgon.

A new acting inspector and new constables to be based in Murgon were announced by police minister Mark Ryan and assistant police commissioner Mike Condon, after the ministers met with Barambah Justice elders on Monday July 9.

Barambah Justice acting chair Lillian Gray said she thought the ministers really listened when they discussed the issues in the Cherbourg community.

"We need the change and I think we're on the right track to make that change,” she said.

Ms Gray would like to see a day when people can drive into Cherbourg and not be afraid of being pelted with rocks.

"We have to make sure the nurses get out of here safely, and that's not right, where else do you have to do that?” she said.

The police will need to build a rapport and earn respect from the community, because things were different in the Aboriginal community, she said.

"I don't want it to be a thing where they are going to come in and be bullies, we just want them to come in and do what they normally do,” Ms Gray said.

Waving to people and smiling would help break down barriers and change the perspective of police in the Cherbourg community, she said.

"The kids are probably being told by the adults 'don't go telling them things,'” she said.

The youth need role models and Ms Gray would like to see the Adopt a Cop program back in Cherbourg school.

"What happened to the days when the police would have a game of footy or cricket with the kids in the community?” she said.

The crime issues need to be approached realistically and the whole family unit needs to be worked with to make any progress, Ms Gray said.

"We need to make sure these kids know it's not good behaviour, even when parents are teaching them the wrong things,” she said.

The men in the Cherbourg community also need to be aware of the things happening and speak up when the youth are misbehaving, Ms Gray said.

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