Karawara residents calling for CCTV cameras to tackle ‘hot spot for troublemakers’

L-R: Steve Irons MP (Federal Member for Swan) with a petition for CCTV and local Karawara residents Magdoulin Samir, Viral Shah and Susanne Cripps. Steve is pushing for CCTV to be installed at Karawara Gardens due to the anti-social behaviour in the area. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au   d487122
L-R: Steve Irons MP (Federal Member for Swan) with a petition for CCTV and local Karawara residents Magdoulin Samir, Viral Shah and Susanne Cripps. Steve is pushing for CCTV to be installed at Karawara Gardens due to the anti-social behaviour in the area. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d487122

CRIME, anti-social behaviour and bloody street fights have led a group of Karawara residents to take action and drive change in their suburb.

The residents, who say they’re “extremely worried” to walk the streets, have created a petition urging local government and politicians to support the installation of CCTV cameras to deter unsavoury behaviour.

Lead petitioner Viral Shah said the area of most concern was the gardens near the Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre and connecting walkways adjacent to a childcare centre.

Mr Shah said the area was the gathering “hot spot for troublemakers” who would often get in violent situations and cause problems for surrounding residents, so CCTV cameras would make everyone feel safer.

“People feel extremely worried to walk in the street, especially after hours; no one feels comfortable to go on a walk or take a pet; female residents remain reluctant to go on their own anywhere and strongly feel fear; and the gardens remain empty or rarely used by locals due to fear,” Mr Shah said.

“Everyone knows that CCTV may not stop the crime or any criminal activities immediately, but it definitely would help to control the situation.”

Swan MHR Steve Irons said in recent months residents had reported persistent break-in attempts, anti-social behaviour and violent events, with many linked to a small number of social housing units.

According to the 2016 Census data, there were 113 households renting social housing in Karawara.

In support of the residents’ petition for CCTV cameras, Mr Irons spoke in Federal Parliament last month and told a story about a Kwel Court resident describing the street as a crime scene when a “meth-affected person” had a fight with a neighbour that “eventuated into a bloody scene” with “pools of blood” on the street.

Kensington Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Glen Beros said installing CCTV systems and home alarms can act as a deterrent and help to identify suspects.

He said police had executed several search warrants recently in the area and that records showed a “slight decrease” in crime within the suburb compared to the five-year average.

South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said the City had received a copy of the petition and was reviewing requests through the development of a CCTV Plan.

“The City is working closely with the Kensington Police on identifying the key crime hotspots, and is developing an action plan for crime prevention,” she said.

“An application for Federal Government funding has been submitted requesting assistance with the purchase of CCTV cameras for key areas around the South Perth Foreshore, Mill Point Road in South Perth, and Karawara.”

The City recently bought a mobile CCTV trailer that Ms Doherty said would be operational soon.

She said a community development initiative called HOME Karawara had also been set up between the City, local businesses and residents to deliver community safety outcomes.

The Gowrie early childhood education centre close to the Karawara gardens has three of its own CCTV cameras installed and works with Kensington Police in regards to monitoring the area.