YOUTH GANGS RUN RIOT
RESIDENTS LIVE IN FEAR AS STREET BECOMES HOT SPOT FOR DRUGS, CRIME
YOUNG children are reportedly doing drugs and terrorising people at night on a Palmerston street — attacking houses, cars and late-night passers-by.
Craig Varney, 45, said the gang of teens and children — some as young as seven — swelled to as many as 20 during holidays, and openly sniffed glue and smoked bongs on Emery Ave, Gray, without fear of punishment.
He said he had been assaulted by one of their uncles and witnessed the mob attack a drunk man with stones and sticks last week.
‘‘ It’s all a big game to them,’’ he said.
‘‘The police respond pretty quickly, but (the kids) are waiting for them — they’re waiting for the chase. They just get a slap on the wrist.
‘‘ An hour later you see them back out at it again.
‘‘ The police know these kids, but it’s just what they’re able to do.’’
Mr Varney said nearby Government units — which housed elderly and disabled people — were regularly pelted with rocks.
He does not live on the street, but his children, aged 10 and 11, do, and he stays with them regularly to protect them.
The frustrated father approached the Sunday Territorian in the hope that increased reporting of the offences would one day lead to the pol-
The more public backing — and the less people turn a blind eye — the more we can look
seriously at curfews
ice gaining more powers to deal with rogue youths.
‘‘The more public backing — and the less people turn a blind eye — the more we can look seriously at curfews and ( other control measures),’’ he said.
Superintendent Matt Hollamby said police were are aware of the kids Mr Varney referred to.
‘‘When crimes are identified, NT Police investigate and, where possible, prosecute youths who commit them,’’ he said.
Mr Varney is not the only person to contact the Sunday Territorian about out- ofcontrol children in Palmerston. Amother said a teenage girl assaulted her 16-year-old daughter in broad daylight at Palmerston Shopping Centre on Monday afternoon.
The alleged victim was rescued by nearby members of the public.
‘‘What we see and hear, it’s just disgusting,’’ her mother said.