A RESIDENTS action group has been formed to combat a severe drug issue at Jubilee Reserve in Eden Hill, where a cricket volunteer was injured after stepping on a syringe this year.
About 30 residents, Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly and Labor candidate for Perth Tim Hammond gathered at Jubilee Reserve on June 12 to discuss the problem of syringes being found regularly.
Jubilee Action Group member and Bassendean Junior Cricket Club president Justin Murray said a junior cricket player’s mother was waiting for results from her injury caused by a syringe.
“One of the volunteers at my junior cricket club is currently going through the process of recovering from a stick (syringe) injury early this year,” Mr Murray said.
“We want to take the park back for the residents because at the moment it is overrun by people who do not want to use the park for its actual purposes.”
Residents were concerned about children playing on the reserve.
“The biggest issue is that both of the junior cricket club, the Caledonians club and Bassendean Football Club, use the pitches and needles are located around their clubroom areas,” he said.
The Town of Bassendean and Kiara police are working together to improve the drug problem.
Kiara police officer-in-charge Mark Stoneman said there had been drug concerns in the area.
“I would not say there has been a spike, but there has been an ongoing issue about syringes being periodically found in the park,” Sergeant Stoneman said.
“We are aware of that and we have increased our patrols in the area…there are a couple of addresses we are trying to target.”
Town of Bassendean Mayor John Gangell said the town planned to improve the lighting on the reserve.
“We are changing the white light around the clubs to blue lights to hopefully alleviate the shooting up occurring at the buildings,” he said.
“Hopefully, once we change those lights over, it would become less of an attractive area for them to go in the evening.
“Obviously we ask for sporting groups and the community to work with us, and the police to be diligent and careful in the area.”
Cr Gangell said rangers conducted daily “area sweeps” to clean up syringes and police had been unsuccessful in catching suspects.
“Unfortunately, the way drug dealers work is they keep a very small quantity of drugs at the premises each time,” he said.
“So when the police go in and raid, if they find anything, it is a very small amount and it is not enough for prosecution.”
Chief executive officer Bob Jarvis said the town had monitored a residence in the past.
Mr Kelly said the drug issues were “unacceptable” and residents had made complaints to him.
“A large number of people are actually buying drugs and actively shooting up on the reserve,” Mr Kelly said.
He said one of the procedures clubs now had to follow was check for syringes where members played.
“I saw at least about half a dozen syringes at the reserve … you should not be able to find that on any reserve and certainly one used by kids so often,” Mr Kelly said.
He spoke at Parliament last week, where he said people constantly feared encountering syringes and drug users at the park. Mr Kelly said there was not enough funding to deal with Perth’s methamphetamine issue.