Karawara streets ‘not safe’

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - FRONT PAGE - Lau­ren Pi­lat

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.

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.

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au Pic­ture: David Baylis

Swan MP Steve Irons with a pe­ti­tion call­ing for CCTV along­side Karawara res­i­dents Mag­doulin Samir, Vi­ral Shah and Su­sanne Cripps. d487122

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