Wembley Police rebuff claims of ‘constant’ York Street crime after complaints by resident at City of Subiaco council meeting

Fresh Start Recover chief executive Jeff Claughton. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Fresh Start Recover chief executive Jeff Claughton. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

POLICE say there has been one report of crime in the York Street area in the past 11 days , following concerns raised by a Subiaco resident at last week’s council meeting.

Wembley Senior Sergeant Paul Gelmi said on Thursday, April 19, that in the week previous, there had been one report in the area; an illegal entry into a vacant home on the street, but nothing was stolen and it was not known if the incident was connected in any way to another property.

He said patrols relied on reports being made by the public.

“If people have concerns or incidents, they should call us,” he said.

Sgt Gelmi said today that there were no reports of offences over the weekend.

Subiaco resident Chantelle O’Sullivan spoke at last Tuesday night’s council meeting about a series of alleged incidents at and around 16-20 York Street, which has been home to a lodging house run by Fresh Start since December.

“I am losing sleep at night with these incidents,” she said.

“I am worried and constantly concerned for mine and my young daughter’s safety; it’s getting worse than we ever imagined.”

The property is in a residential-zoned area but had its non-conforming use extended by an elected member’s motion last year.

Ms O’Sullivan and a group of other residents lodged a legal battle in the Supreme Court against the City of Subiaco over Fresh Start moving into the old Ronald McDonald House premises after Planning Minister Rita Saffioti referred the decision to the State Administrative Tribunal, which is currently monitoring the outcome of the court action to make a ruling.

Subiaco chief executive Don Burnett said he was in the process of setting up a meeting with the Fresh Start manager and bringing up any concerns.

“It’s a fairly emotive issue, so we need to peel back what’s happening,” he said.

Fresh Start director and former Subiaco councillor Mark Burns said the lodging house was there to be good neighbours.

“We record everything, and we’ve had zero complaints,” he said.

“People are welcome to phone me to discuss issues if they’re scared or fearful.

“I’m greatly concerned that people are being dragged in and frightened unnecessarily.”

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