ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour in Maylands town centre is so bad locals are threatening vigilante action against frequent offenders.
An anonymous post on the Maylands Crime Watch Facebook page says: “I’ve given up on the rangers.
“There’s a group of 3-6 individuals (the numbers change each night) camped out in the alcove behind the Maylands post office, in the carpark between Eighth Avenue and Ninth Avenue.
“They’ve been there for several days; drinking, fighting, urinating and defecating in the carpark, peering into cars, kicking car doors, screaming at each other and anyone who walks past. At all hours of the night.
“We’ve called the rangers several times and I literally watched the most recent visit; the ranger vehicle did a slow lap of the carpark, shone its light on the group, and moved on.
“My girlfriend walks through the area and my mother parks there when she comes to visit.
“If something is not done soon my friends and I will move the group on ourselves.
“All of their belongings will be removed and destroyed.
“I’m sick of it,” the poster concluded.
The Voice visited the area at midday on Tuesday, and it was quiet, but later that night the anti-social behaviour kicked off again.
A nearby resident reported that yelling, swearing, property damage and bottle smashing started at 1.30am on Wednesday morning and continued for more than an hour.
Sometimes the number of campers swell to 16 and the smaller core group has been living around the town centre for more than a year now.
The spot they’re camping on is private property, which puts Bayswater Council rangers in a bind.
Mayor Dan Bull says “We always assist wherever we can, however because this is occurring on private land the city’s rangers do not have the legal authority to enter private property and ask people to leave.
“The landowner should contact the WA Police and the Maylands Local Policing Team if antisocial behaviour is occurring.
“If the issue is one of homelessness; it is a complex area requiring a multiagency approach to tackle.
“In that regard, the city is in regular discussion with State government agencies that are responsible for helping the homeless, as well as other key stakeholders to explore what can be done.
“We have developed a resource pack that our rangers can provide to homeless people. It lists agencies and services that they can contact for help.
“Our rangers also work closely with Nyoongar Outreach Services who regularly patrol Maylands, Bayswater and Morley.
“They are able to make a difference on the ground by putting the homeless in contact with much needed support services.
“This month the city has organised two community safety forums that will be attended by the WA Police and Ruah Community Services, and they represent an opportunity for the community to provide feedback and ask questions.”
The forums stem from a notice of motion put up by new ward councillor Elli Petersen-Pik late last year, after the issues of antisocial behaviour in the area kept popping up during his doorknockign during the election.
“We will have police, the rangers, and social services there, people can come and say what the issues are and what solutions they expect,” he says.
“I’m hopeful that many people do come and tell us clearly and united if they do want us to put more resources into this area.”
Ward councillor Catherine Ehrhardt says she hopes no vigilante action goes ahead but she says it can be tough getting the proper authorities down there.
On March 24 she saw one of the regular troublemakers beat a woman, then drag her around by her hair.
“I called 000 twice,” says Cr Ehrhardt.
“Three other people called … one of them twice as well, and it took one hour for police to attend a man that was assaulting a woman”.
There are forums at Maylands Autumn Centre on April 16, and at Morley Noranda Recreation Club on April 23, both at 6pm. RSVP at http://www.bayswater.wa.gov.au/residents/security-watch
by DAVID BELL