Ar­son at­tacks anger

Lo­cals ‘fed up’ with fire­bugs

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

NEW Nor­folk com­mu­nity mem­bers say they are fed up with the in­creased num­ber of ar­son at­tacks at the Wil­low Court precinct.

The com­ments come in the wake of a dev­as­tat­ing fire which de­stroyed the his­toric Glenora House less than a fort­night ago.

It was the fourth re­ported ar­son at­tack at the precinct within two weeks pre­ced­ing the Glenora House col­lapse and the sec­ond de­lib­er­ately lit fire at the prop­erty within 24 hours.

The re­cent ar­son at­tacks, which ul­ti­mately left the Glenora House in a pile of rub­ble, fol­lows a num­ber of van­dal­ism in­ci­dents at the site in re­cent years, and a num­ber of com­mu­nity mem­bers have had enough.

Lexia Brown, co-or­di­na­tor at the Der­went Val­ley Com­mu­nity House within the Wil­low Court precinct, said con­tin­ued ar­son at­tacks to the aban­doned Wil­low Court build­ings was dev­as­tat­ing.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that peo­ple think it’s OK to light fires and de­stroy things that don’t be­long to them,” she said.

Ms Brown’s co-worker Diane Booth agreed.

“We’ve lost a num­ber of build­ings in the vicin­ity over the years since we’ve been here — it’s a tragedy,” Ms Booth said.

The pair said they thought the aban­doned build­ings made the area an easy tar­get for van­dals and be­lieved restora­tion of the struc­tures would min­imise fu­ture at­tacks.

“If the build­ings were used for a pur­pose then I think it would stop all the at­tacks hap­pen­ing,” Ms Brown said.

A Der­went Val­ley Coun­cil agenda re­leased ahead of to­mor­row night’s coun­cil meet­ing re­vealed pro­pos­als for a new dis­tillery at Wil­low Court as well as an ex­panded Agrar­ian Kitchen site.

New Nor­folk po­lice sergeant Chris Hey said pop­u­lated ar­eas min­imised the like­li­hood of ar­son at­tacks.

“From a polic­ing per­spec­tive, oc­cu­pied build­ings are a de­ter­rent,” he said.

“I think the de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als that have come for­ward are a pos­i­tive, not just for crime preven­tion but for com­mu­nity growth.”


“TRAGEDY”: Lexia Brown, left, and Dianne Booth at the Der­went Val­ley Com­mu­nity House.

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