Anti-crime group – residents take action

Anti-crime group – residents take action

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Thornlie Community Safety group member Corrina Dyer and group founder Simone Owston.

When Simone Owston said enough was enough, she really meant it – as she formed the Thornlie Community Safety Group which now has more than 400 concerned community members.

Ms Owston had only moved to Shillington St in Thornlie two months ago and she had already being vandalised four times.

Recently the Thornlie Football Club was also vandalised but club members said they have been terrorised for almost a year now.

After calling and reporting to the Canning Vale police, Ms Owston felt nothing was changing and knew the whole community needed to be involved to increase the chances of something actually improving.

Ms Owston will now be working along with other community members in the #Keepyourstreetsafe – a movement she created for local members to collect the numbers of incidents and responses by police happening within the next months, so that they can present Thornlie as a hot crime spot and demand the government’s immediate attention.

“There are old ladies in our community walking into the local shopping centre and actually too scared to walk out, because once they do teenagers and some adults are constantly asking them for money,” she said.

“Even teenage kids don’t want to catch the bus to school because they are getting teased by other teenage boys.”

Ms Owston said it is time to put a stop to this and actually get the government to do something that will tackle the roots of these issues.

Another group member, Corrina Dyer, said teenagers vandalising the area are the result of a government that’s not providing enough programs or rehabilitation to help disadvantaged families in the area.

“You also have to look at what children have to pay to play sport, parents can’t afford paying the fees and the government needs to either subsidise it or make it free to play sport,” she said.

“I am getting to the stage when my partner is away that I am scared to walk on my own.”

After a week of forming the club, Ms Owston and other group members hosted a community event with City of Gosnells mayor David Goode among attendees.

Mr Goode said the Canning Vale Police recently increased patrols in Thornlie as a response to the reports of criminal behaviour.

“The city is aware of concerns from a community group about antisocial behaviour in Thornlie and recently wrote to local residents, encouraging them to report any suspicious or antisocial behaviour to police,” he said.

“The city liaises regularly with local members of parliament to address priority issues and a diverse range of services and activities to engage its young people.

“This includes a large number of school holiday and after-school programs and events at the Thornlie Skate Park and The Castle youth centre.

“Opportunities are also available through the city to apply for Kidsport, which provides financial assistance towards club fees.

“While social media community crime pages appear to be growing in popularity, there are concerns about the spread of misinformation.

“I recommend community members consider joining their local Neighbourhood Watch program, which encourages people to get to know their neighbours and report suspicious behaviour to police or Crime Stoppers.”