Homeowner forced out
Pictures: Ian Munro Ellenbrook residents say a nineyear-old boy who has been terrorising families in the area is not the only youth running amok in the suburb, with up to a dozen children living at two homes also responsible for alleged vandalism, burglaries and death threats.
Amanda, who did not want her last name used, told The Weekend West she had been forced to move out of the Stanbury Crescent house she built in 2013 because of continued attacks from children as young as three.
She said her house had been repeatedly pelted with stones, had plants and lights from her front yard damaged and stolen and received late-night knocks on the door. In one instance, she filmed a group of youths brandishing large kitchen knives as they jumped over her side fence.
“It is a big nightmare,” Amanda said. “I have had to move into a rental and I can’t actually live in my own house. I don’t see myself going back there anytime soon unless something is done.
“There are quite a few kids, but at different times you see different ones. I feel like I am being targeted.
“Obviously when I catch them I tell them off and they just curse at me and laugh. These kids are not scared at all.”
Amanda said the tipping point for moving out was last month’s knife incident during which she was threatened by a teenager who she confronted.
“It was just a quick ‘I am going to kill you’, and then they laughed,” she said.
“I filmed them holding knives. “It started with them ripping at my bamboo fence at the front.
“I opened the front door and they ran down the side.
“I grabbed my phone and started filming and then saw them jump on a fence holding knives.
“I stopped filming and then they said they were going to kill me.
“It was scary and I got to the point where I didn’t feel safe.
“I’d start hearing noises and I couldn’t sleep because I would think someone was breaking it.”
Amanda’s torment, at the hands of up to a dozen youth, follows reports this week of a nine-yearold boy terrorising residents on another Ellenbrook street.
Two police officers spent hours standing guard outside the boy’s Ellenbrook home on Tuesday night after he allegedly went on a rampage, threatening nearby residents and his grandmother.
A neighbour of the boy said he climbed on the roof of her home about 7.30pm and started throwing tiles, smashing her car windscreen.
The boy is too young to face charges over crimes but Commissioner Chris Dawson said police were working closely with other agencies and the family to try to help the boy and stop the offences.
Amanda said she had reported the damage and threats to police and the Department of Housing but was told, without proof, there was nothing they could do.
Ellenbrook resident Tayla, who did not want her last name used, said a gang of teenagers had ransacked her mother’s house while she was away at work last month.
She said the group had smashed a front window and spent about two hours inside the property before making off with electrical items, an iPad and jewellery.
“They smashed the front window and just let themselves in,” she said. “They have no fear.
“I’ve heard of four or five other incidents where these kids have just been running riot, taking people’s things, vandalising or threatening.
“They obviously don’t have a good life at home for them to be going around and do that sort of stuff.”
Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw said she was aware of the issues and was working with the State Government to implement more services to engage youth in the area and keep them out of trouble.
“Public safety is an issue people are concerned about and having things for our kids to do is so important,” she said.
“What people need to appreciate is that between 2006 and 2016 Ellenbrook’s population went from 14,000 to 40,000 and 32 per cent of people in that suburb are aged under 32 years.
“Basically there were no services for children that came with that growth. It came up a lot during the election that there were a lot of kids out there with nothing to do and nowhere to go.”
Ms Shaw said she was committed to delivering a youth centre.
“This issue of ‘idle hands do the devil’s work’ came up over and over during the election,” she said. “So we committed $1.86 million to a youth centre.”
Amanda no longer lives in her own home.