Discovery of decapitated rat in City of Stirling councillor’s front yard prompts installation of security equipment

City of Stirling councillor Giovanni Italiano.
City of Stirling councillor Giovanni Italiano.

A STIRLING councillor has spent thousands of dollars installing security equipment following a repulsive incident.

Councillor Giovanni Italiano said he installed $2000 worth of security cameras at his home after finding a decapitated rat in his front yard in February.

“I want to feel safe in my home,” he said.

“I’ve lived in my home since 1985 and I’ve never had any issues.

“From time to time you get disgruntled ratepayers… but they usually accept and move on.”

Inglewood ward Cr Bianca Sandri made a similar discovery of a dead rat outside her home six weeks ago and both reported the incidents to police.

Cr Italiano was concerned issues might continue and believed it could relate to “cyber bullying” that occurred during last year’s council election campaign, which he described as “abuse” he had not previously experienced in his 22-year involvement in local government.

“Where does this stop?” he said.

“These intimidating things should not be happening.

“It’s time to let those people know they haven’t got away with it, they won’t get away with it.”

But Cr Sandri said she was not “overly concerned” and reported the incident as a precaution.

Councillor Bianca Sandri.

She said there was not yet any indication as to whether the act was deliberate or connected to the one at Cr Italiano’s home.

“As a new councillor, I have been really happy with the training, support and advice provided to councillors,” she said.

“While no councillor deserves to feel as though they have been threatened, we are aware that there’s chance we could face this as part of our role.

“That’s why it is so important to have the right support and skills in place to deal with it effectively.”

According to City of Stirling chief executive Stuart Jardine, the City was made aware of the incidents when they occurred and spoke with Crs Sandri and Italiano at the time.

“No councillor should never be made to feel unsafe or threatened,” he said.

“The City of Stirling has a zero tolerance approach to bullying and intimidation and provides support, training and education to councillors (and staff) on these issues.

“The City will continue to work with both councillors to ensure they receive the appropriate support required.”

A police spokesman confirmed it was investigating the incidents and encouraged anyone with information to report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestopperswa.com.au.

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