A HILTON resident claims two recent car accidents in his street are directly linked to drug dealers who are operating with impunity.
The resident, who didn’t want to be identified for fear of repercussions, says drug-addled hoons plowed into street trees this time but he’s scared they’ll come through his bedroom wall unless action is taken.
He’s tried numerous time to get police and Homeswest to intervene, but says there’s a mountain of complaint forms and other red tape to get through and he’s given up. As well as the drug dealing, residents have had to endure domestic abuse played out in public and constant late-night parties.
“One working day I spent more than three hours filling in complaint forms and making phone calls—I can’t afford to spend that much time at work doing that,” the man told the Herald. “There’s a new Hilton neighbourhood police team which I tried to call, but no-one answered—it just rang out and I gave up.”
He says police used to do the occasional drive-by, and would respond quickly when late-night partying turned into brawling, but he hasn’t seen them nearby in ages. Dealing has been going on for four years, he says. Another neighbour says it’s blatant, with 30 cars a day stopping by for just minutes at a time. She was once so scared by a “crack-head” she called a neighbour for help because her husband wasn’t at home.
Homeswest tenants convicted of possession are supposed to be evicted under a one-strike policy, but local city councillor Bill Massie says it doesn’t always work out that way.
He’s been supporting another resident who’d plucked up the courage to speak against her neighbour in court. The neighbour had been convicted of dealing but Homeswest’s eviction notice was thrown out and the woman now lives in fear because the neighbour knows where she lives.
Cr Massie says the man simply went back to dealing as if nothing had happened.
He’s aware of a third house in Hilton where drugs are openly sold and he can’t understand why police aren’t more interested: “The police know where they are, they know where they are,” he told the Herald. Generally an outspoken supporter of police, who thinks they do a good job with limited resources, he believes they’re too soft when it comes to crime in Hilton and he wants zero tolerance reinstated.
Cr Massie, who recently took over the reins of the Justice First victims’ lobby group, reckons police have been issued directive from their top brass to ignore petty crime.
The resident who alerted the Herald to the dealing claims up to 10 people appear to be living at the house at any one time and, while direct interaction has so far been cordial it’s the customers they attract that has him worried.
“Some of that crowd is scary,” he says.
by STEVE GRANT