Concerns over anti-social behaviour in Maylands

The back of the Maylands Autumn Centre. Pictures: Supplied.
The back of the Maylands Autumn Centre. Pictures: Supplied.

SOME residents are concerned about anti-social behaviour around the Roxy Lane Theatre, formally Maylands Autumn Centre.

During the past 10 days, residents have reported incidents involving a group of homeless people including trespass, public urination and defecation, noise disturbance, mail theft and violence to City of Bayswater rangers and Bayswater police.

Other issues include litter such as food waste, drug paraphernalia, drug use, public fornication, vandalism, threats to residents and blocking residents’ access to cars or homes.

Drug paraphernalia on the ground. Picture: James Kozak.

A Maylands resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he contacted police and rangers four times from May 26 to June 5.

“Understandably the impact upon residents and local business has been severe, as these issues take place during the middle of the day as well as late into the night,” he said.

“The incidence and severity of the (anti-social) activities have increased dramatically during the last week.

“This situation cannot continue.”

A package on the grass. Picture: James Kozak.

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she appreciated limited solutions the rangers and police were able to provide.

“I urge (Bayswater) councillors to permanently secure the premises by fencing off the grassed area as soon as possible,” she said.

Bayswater police say homelessness is a ‘social issue’

Bayswater police officer-in-charge John Waghorn said there was about a group of four to nine people who have been staying in the Maylands area because it was close to public transport.

“There is a group of people who choose to live on the streets because they enjoy being homeless,” he said.

“There is a training centre on Caledonian Avenue, the front foyer of the old Maylands police station, underground carpark at the Maylands Commercial Centre and a picture theatre on Ninth Avenue and they float between all these locations.

“Being homeless in itself is not a criminal offence, it is what they do and their behaviour that does potentially become a criminal offence.

“But some people in the area seems to think that homelessness in itself is an offence and as a result it is a social issue that needs to be dealt with by the police.”

Mattresses on the side of the centre.

Senior Sergeant Waghorn said police have been engaging with the group and Nyoongar Outreach Services.

“The other issue we have is local residents and some businesses are feeding them, giving them coffee and effectively making it possible for them to live on the street,” he said.

“I don’t see the point of giving someone an infringement notice for drinking in the park for example, where it is probably going to cost them $250 that they have no ability to pay.

“If people continue to report, we will continue to respond.”

Litter on the side of the centre.

Bayswater Mayor Dan Bull encouraged members of the public to report criminal activities to police.

“Issues relating to anti-social behaviour are often complex and require a multi-agency approach,” he said.

“We all have the right to feel safe in our community, and the City is working closely with WA Police and other local agencies to address antisocial behaviour.

“Regular patrols are carried out as part of the City’s 24-7 Security Watch, providing more eyes on the street.”

Community News also contacted theatre company ARENAarts, which leased the centre from the City, for comment.

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