ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour at Smart Street Mall and at the foreshore was a big issue for business owners at the Safer Mandurah Breakfast, organised by the Peel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on Friday.
They were invited to direct concerns to a panel made up of Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey, Mandurah officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Stephen Thompson and South Metropolitan Superintendent Andy Russell.
One business owner who operates out of the mall said he sweeps up small plastic drug bags on weekends in the entertainment precinct.
Sgt Thompson said there was a strong police presence in the area on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Another business owner, who works at the Western Foreshore, said she constantly dealt with aggressive young people.
Sgt Thompson told the woman that going into summer he would be putting extra resources into the area.
A seventh local police team would be created to deal with issues in this part of town, he said.
The manager of Belvedere Caravan Park told the panel he has issues with police response times and the high homelessness rates in Mandurah.
He complained that families were living at the old Lucky Caravan site, which now lies empty.
“We’ve had to turn people away,” he said. “We need crisis centres.”
His complaints were directed to Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone, who said homelessness was a ttate, not local government issue.
“If there was an easy fix we’d have put it in place already,” she said.
City community safety officer Belinda Trowbridge said there were local laws the City could enforce in relation to squatting.
The homeless could be given move-on notices and squats frequented by them can be demolished, she said.
The head of security at Murphy’s Irish Pub questioned the usefulness of infringement notices.
Infringement notices are given to people who are behaving in a disorderly manner. The fines are on the spot, can be as high as $1000 and aim to keep people committing minor offences out of the courts.
Supt Andy Russell said crime rates in Mandurah had either dropped or remained steady.