Fast lane to social decay

Groups of youths roam Midland’s streets at night.
Groups of youths roam Midland’s streets at night.

One of the anti-social behaviour hot spots I am personally aware of is Tuohy Lane, in Midland. The area is often populated by intoxicated people who make a public nuisance of themselves on a daily basis.

Anywhere from 9pm till 3am, groups of youths ” many of whom I believe have social problems ” congregate on the corner of Tuohy Lane opposite Dan Murphy’s bottle shop.

As a local resident, I hear on a nightly basis yelling of profanities, smashing of glass bottles and loud banging coming from the group as they walk up and down the laneway.

Other residents coming home late at night often have to drive their vehicles down this laneway and stop in front of the crowd, to urge them to move aside.

I live in a nearby apartment. As secure as it is, there is only so much physical security can do from a protective standpoint.

In my view, there need to be better preventative measures or deterrents taken in this area, so that local residents do not feel as though they live in fortresses, afraid of the outside world.

Early on New Year’s Day, after a relaxing time spent with my wife and baby girl, I awoke to a loud bang, as a large rock came flying through my balcony door, damaging the flywire and blinds.

When I reported the incident to the police and said the alleged perpetrators could still be seen from my balcony, the police offered to take a damage report and send out a patrol. However, no police were seen, nor did police come to check on my family.

When I later notified other police officers of the incident, I was told: ‘I’m sorry but the police have other higher priorities.’

Surely where a crime prevention and community welfare approach is said to be paramount in policing, officers should be taking a more proactive approach to the safety of the community, rather than a reactive response of crime fighting once damage has been done.

Local residents who do call police to their homes now fear they may be targeted as a result.

The recent events around Tuohy Lane are not just an isolated problem for residents. The St Vincent de Paul op-shop also has had its windows smashed ” and not for the first time.

Recurring incidents are leaving business owners and residents feeling insecure.

Improvements to the social welfare system for the underprivileged may be more beneficial to combat the problem.

Police patrols are a good temporary measure. However, the State Government needs to remedy the issues at the heart of anti-social behaviour, crime and delinquency.

Many people in these groups are crying out for help and are not being heard. Something needs to be done. Only then will society benefit.