Stratton skate park trashed by vandals on Australia Day

Stratton skate park trashed by vandals on Australia Day
Stratton skate park trashed by vandals on Australia Day

STRATTON residents say they are “disgusted” over crime in the suburb following a spate of vandalism at the Stratton skate park.

Vandals caused extensive damage to the park over the Australia Day public holiday – smashing windows, spraying graffiti and pulling up reticulation.

Stratton Neighbourhood Watch spokesman Michael Clement said the park was “trashed” on a weekly basis.

“There is some sort of damage done every other day at the park, but this is probably the worst so far,” he said.

“It’s getting crazy and the kids who are doing the right thing can’t enjoy the area.”

Mr Clement said the skate park backed on to a nearby school oval, which was constantly littered with broken glass.

He said something needed to be done before someone was injured.

“There’s one CCTV camera but it’s outdated and doesn’t cover the whole area. We need more cameras and more police patrols in the area,” he said.

“There’s drug use, alcohol use and antisocial behaviour here on a daily basis and somebody is going to get hurt if something isn’t done.”

Graffiti Force employee Igor Novakovic said he was contracted by the City of Swan last week to clean and repaint graffiti at the skate park.

He said he had almost finished cleaning it up and had returned to finish it, when he saw the damage caused over the public holiday.

“We’ve been here four times this month to clean the graffiti and only two days ago we came to remove it and now we have to do it all again,” he said.

Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the city was working with local police and the community to address vandalism.

He said the city had a number of initiatives such as the rapid removal of graffiti and CCTV as crime prevention.

“The most recent damage has been fixed and the city will continue to work with the police and community groups to try to combat vandalism in the area,” he said.

Midland MLA Michelle Roberts said she was shocked over the vandalism, but the issue of crime was broader than just Stratton.

She said the primary school next to the skate park had to do daily checks for used syringes before letting students onto the school oval.

“I’ve been consulting with the community about having the school oval fenced off to keep vandals out and keep the students safe,” she said.

“Midland and Midvale crime rates are in the top five for the Perth metro area, so it’s not just in Stratton.

“Police resources are stretched and there are not enough patrols being done in the area to catch these people.”

Midland Police senior Sergeant Jason Longhorn said he believed residents were taking to social media to vent their concerns rather than reporting to police.

“We are investigating this incident and will be increasing patrols in the area,” he said.

“We have 24/7 police coverage and if people call then we will respond, but we don’t use Facebook as a tool to find out information, so people need to report via 131 444 or through Crime Stoppers.”