A local club that should be celebrating their 50 year anniversary has been struggling for months due to constant vandalism, leaving staff and horrified members.
Thornlie Football and Sports Club is under threat after having multiple incidents of broken property, cars broken into, members being abused for not giving into demands and multiple stealing incidents.
The most recent incident happened on February 22 at 2.33am when the club’s soccer oval was once again vandalised.
The club is now about $6000 out of pocket after covering the costs of their internal insurance multiple times.
The club’s chairman of directors, Wayne Barrett, contacted the council again to request an urgent security summit to tackle the problem.
“I get frustrated when people say report it to the police, but when it happens so often you can’t keep doing it forever,” he said.
“These kids are here from 10pm to 2am in the morning, and people can’t report it because they don’t see it until the morning after.
“Maybe the council will start to realise they have a huge problem out here.
“This is a culmination of years and years of dysfunctional families not doing anything, kids getting bored with nothing left to do and we need to control these kids.
“The council should be talking to the local state and federal representatives and ask what can be done to make these kids do something so that they don’t break in, jump on the roof and throw rocks.”
City of Gosnells Mayor David Goode said a short-term measure has been recently implemented with CCTV cameras that will monitor the club at all times.
“The city has also been working with Canning Vale police station to increase patrols and has written to local residents encouraging community members to report any suspicious or anti-social behaviour to police,” he said.
“The city is also seeking external funding support for additional, permanent CCTV cameras.
“More permanent security measures currently being investigated by the city include increased building security such as reinforced shutters on windows and doors, roof access deterrents and smart-controlled lighting to boost lighting in car parks and other areas.”
Other councillors such as Aaron Adams said it is a real shame to see the Thornlie Football Club have so many issues with vandalism.
“Whilst crime is generally a matter for police, I believe that the city should assist the club where it can to make the club’s facilities as secure as possible and a less attractive target for vandals,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Peter Abetz said that while he thinks a forum or summit will give people the opportunity to vent their frustrations, it may not actually improve things.
“To improve things there needs a societal change, we are reaping the whirlwind of the over emphasis of ‘rights’ being drummed into our young people in our educational facilities, at the expense of the emphasis on responsibilities,” he said.
“Associated with that is the failure to give those in authority the power to discipline those who won’t behave themselves and parents need to be made responsible for the behaviour of their children.”
Councillors Adam Hort and Sarah Patterson also responded to Mr Barrett’s concerns and expressed their support of a community forum to implement measures to reduce the club’s issues.
Mr Barrett said things are just getting out of hand and it is getting to the stage that most people will not venture out after sunset and said the club recently lost another staff member who was afraid to work after dark.