Eden's behind the scenes citizen
31 January 2008, yourguide.com.au:
He may not be a famous face but Eden resident Peter Rice is dedicated to helping his community and on the steps of the Eden Post Office on Australia Day he was named the township's citizen of the year.Crime wave clean-up:
Mr Rice immersed himself in the culture of town when he moved to the area with his wife Barbara in 1982 after holidaying here frequently during the 1970s.
Describing Eden in those early days, Peter said the township was a village made up of primarily four to five families and their ascendants.
He also noted the friendly nature of the people in Eden compared to the city folk in Canberra.
"When you walked down the street people smiled, and when I asked, 'why are people smiling they don't do that in Canberra,' someone said they probably think you're related," Mr Rice said ...
"It was a great spirit we found here in Eden, the people are very unique," Mr Rice said.
Talking about what motivates him to work tirelessly for the benefit of others, Mr Rice said, "We're christians and try to live a christian life... we're not heavy Bible people but we do belong to a church.
"Christ was not a conquering hero in military terms, he was an ambassador to the poor and needy and I think that most christians do have an eye for people that are less fortunate then they are and try and do something about it."
The community of Eden is calling for help to tackle a juvenile crime problem that is costing the township both financially and emotionally.Crims go down, $189,000 worth of cannabis seized:
Manager of Eden Pool, John Pelling estimated he has had to pay thousands to cover the damage done by vandals at the recreational facility alone.
"Including the repair of the fencing, the installation of gates to the change rooms - because they were getting in there trying to jimmy off the coin box for the showers - it would be over a couple of thousand dollars," Mr Pelling said.
"I even had to go out and buy chains and padlocks to chain up the garbage bins, because they were putting them in the pool, and that was well over $100."
The pool manager faced another added cost as he considered installing motion detectors and alarms which "will be an expensive exercise".
Repeated vandalism has also left Eden Golf Club Pro Shop operator Jonathan Hickman on edge.
"Every time the phone rings at night I'm thinking it's the club telling me I've been vandalised again."
Repeatedly targeted the Eden Fishermen's Club operations manager Luke Ryan said, "Over the last 12 months it's cost us over $10,000 in break-ins and associated malicious damage."
Following months of continual break-ins and vandalism the residents of Eden have been seeking assistance to deal with the turmoil.
Police and Department of Community Services (DoCS) have been working to amend the issues but to no avail.
Both agencies have exhausted their capacities and further government assistance will be required ...
A more recent report from police of two children, aged six and eight, throwing rocks causing malicious damage has further fuelled cries for intervention (see more on juvenile crime on this page (left)).
Talking about the issues Far South Coast Local Area Command Inspector Jason Edmunds said "there's no simple fix".
"Any time police are dealing with young offenders it is particularly difficult and we encourage a whole of government approach that looks at underlying issues for youth crime especially young kids," he said.
A social worker associated with a local welfare agency said Eden had a serious problem and noted the facilities to amend the social problems were not available in the area.
Drug abuse, alcoholism and gambling were identified as key factors causing social problems.
He also reported the need for a proper sociological survey of the Eden area to identify individuals in need of support, followed by the provision of appropriately qualified persons to help those in need.
The need to implement an education campaign, focusing on early social integration and intervention and teaching children a healthy sense of community, was also highlighted.
A routine traffic patrol ended in a drug bust at an Eden residence, with more than $189,000 worth of cannabis (at street value) seized.Charged with home invasion:
The inside of the house, where the illegal drugs were confiscated, was also kitted out as a sizeable hydroponics laboratory.
The discovery of the illegal drug ring unfolded at 7.25pm on Sunday, December 30 when Eden Police stopped a motor vehicle travelling north on the Princes highway for a traffic related matter.
After a search of the vehicle police found a large quantity of cannabis hidden in the car.
As a result a 47-year-old Eden man was taken to Eden Police Station where a search warrant was obtained and later executed on an Eden house ...
A BEGA man, Owen Nixon, appeared in the Eden Local Court on Wednesday on charges related to a home invasion in Bega on Monday night.It's all going to pot. And morons like Owen Nixon will be breeding more lost white boys.
He was charged with aggravated break and enter, committing a serious indictable offence, larceny, common assault and malicious damage.
Police said the 43-year-old was the alleged perpetrator of a violent home invasion in Carp Street, Bega.
They allege Nixon and another man approached a resident of the house as she was putting out rubbish about 10pm and asked the location of her boyfriend, boyfriend, Ben Smith.
Despite her insistence that the 27-year-old was not home, Nixon allegedly forced his way inside through a screen door and found Smith in one of the bedrooms.
Nixon is then believed to have demanded drugs to which Smith replied he didn’t have any.
A fight between the two men followed.
Furniture was upturned and a computer thrown across a room and Nixon allegedly sole money that was on a table.
Police say Smith escorted his girlfriend to the back yard and then returned to the house and managed to push Nixon outside and lock the front door.
Nixon allegedly returned with a log and smashed the glass door in an apparent attempt to re-enter the house.
It is believed he suffered cuts and puncture marks to his arms from the broken glass in the process and subsequently fled the scene with the other man in tow ...