CONCERNS over an increase in anti-social behaviour in Maylands has led to residents calling for more frequent patrols by rangers and police, in a bid for a “safe” suburb.
Maylands Ratepayers and Residents Association members posted comments on their Facebook page about alleged assaults, screaming and drunken behaviour around Eighth and Ninth avenues and the train station.
Their concerns were circulated to Bayswater councillors, Police Minister Michelle Roberts, Maylands MLA Lisa Baker and Bayswater police.
A Maylands resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he called City of Bayswater rangers four times and the police eight times from September 15 to 30, while his partner, neighbours and the post office owner had also made several calls.
“We’ve witnessed horrific assaults (with weapons), daily and nightly screaming of obscenities, public urination and defecation, alcohol and drug use, property damage (to houses, shops, vehicles), littering and trespass,” he said.
“We’ve witnessed members of the public being chased and threatened.”
He said a group of people had entered their front and back yards, where they found rubbish and drug paraphernalia.
“It was particularly bad in April earlier this year, declined over winter, and has begun again from early September,” he said.
“I have friends and family who will no longer visit us in Maylands, at any time of the day or night, due to having been threatened, chased, having witnessed assaults or a combination thereof.”
He said he wanted the City to work with police and other groups to tackle the social and crime issues in Maylands.
“Ultimately as long-term residents we shouldn’t need to have the answers here – we just want the screaming and violence to stop and for a safe Maylands,” he said.
Bayswater police officer-in-charge John Waghorn said homelessness was a social issue and urged residents to continue to report to police.
“Not every disturbance call is related to the four or five people in the Maylands area,” he said.
“We had them banned from one location and they are simply moving around the suburb looking for somewhere else to put their head down.
“But I am not going to base resource allocations or the decision to allocate resources purely upon Facebook chatter.
“If we roll up and there is four or five people who are effectively homeless and commit no offences, our ability to respond is very limited if they are doing nothing wrong when we roll up.
“Homelessness is not going to be prosecuted by the police but their behaviour will be.”
Maylands MLA to work with City of Bayswater, police and community on crime prevention
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker has written to the Minister to request a police “blitz” in the lead-up to the Christmas period.
She said an increase in the amount of foot and mounted patrols would give some relief to the business community and residents.
Mayor Dan Bull said the City would continue to work closely with police, local agencies and Nyoongar Outreach Services to address anti-social behaviour, social and welfare issues.
“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 conducts regular security patrols as part of its Security Watch Service to ensure its presence is visible in Maylands.
“In responding to the needs of homeless people within our community, the City has developed a brochure containing vital information about support services such as crisis accommodation, legal support and counselling available within the City.
“Our rangers are often the first point of contact for people finding themselves in this situation and can directly link with support services.”
A public toilet block and CCTV system, funded through a $140,000 State Government grant, will soon be installed in the town centre.
– WA Police 131 444
– Bayswater Police 9473 5500
– City rangers 9272 0972
– City’s security watch 1300 360 333
– Crisis Care 1800 199 008
– Nyoongar Outreach Services 9228 4211.