Beacy better?

Broken rubbish is strewn around the verges near Davis Park. Photo by Marta Pascual Juanola

Broken rubbish is strewn around the verges near Davis Park. Photo
by Marta Pascual Juanola.

A DECAPITATED bird was left on the doorstep of a Beaconsfield woman who’d complained about neighbours’ behaviour that is so atrocious her daughter moved out, fearing for her safety.

The woman lives opposite Davis Park, in the heart of the troubled precinct known as the “Beacy Bronx”.

The resident’s daughter has been active in a community program to improve the area: the work involves liaising with authorities, including police.

A photo of the daughter talking to police was taken and posted to Facebook, prompting online bullying and comments such as “dog”.

“Now every time she visits me she gets sworn at by 8-year-olds,” the woman told the Herald.

The woman says the intervention program has improved life around the park, with an upgrade bringing in parents with their kids, but trouble still rumbles up from nearby O’Reilly Close, which she says is the real “Bronx”.

Personally referring to it as “Welfare City”, she says kids from O’Reilly are ruining the park, dragging up rubbish their parents’ dump on verges and smashing it to pieces.

The dead bird—its head cleanly removed—had been left after she’d complained about the amount of rubbish.

“The park is beautiful,” she says. “But when the kids get sick of playing at the scooter park they fill it with trash. It was filled with trash a couple of days ago but they came yesterday and cleaned it.

“I had to call over to the council. They don’t do anything until you call.”

When the Herald visited the park this week, surrounding verges were littered with smashed shopping trolleys, mattresses, couches, washing machines, stoves and lots of soggy cardboard.

The resident describes the trouble-makers as “dirty, filthy benefit people” new to the area, who smash windows, throw stones at cars and damage people’s homes—including their own.

“It’s terrorism by children and that’s the parents’ fault for not giving a shit.” She says parents of kids she’d complained about have walked past her house, threatening to kill her. She’s complained to the council and Homeswest several times but they “don’t like to kick people out”.

The woman’s claims of retribution were backed by another resident who contacted the Herald recently to say they’d also moved out after being targeted. That resident said her house was broken into several times, as well as being stoned and damaged while she was out because she was a vocal opponent of drug dealers and had been taking part in the improvement project.

Back from the brink

THE Beacy Bronx is back from the brink, according to an alliance of residents and authorities.

Police report fewer visits to the notorious section of Beaconsfield while drug dealers have come in for community scrutiny and a local determination to weed them out.

The Fremantle Multicultural Centre has employed a project officer for the Davis Park area, street lighting has improved, the park’s had a $100,000 spruce-up and a parenting support program has been established.

Bianca Gabrielson lives alongside Davis Park and says “things have really quietened down”.

“For the first time I know the names of the police officers who have been coming around and even playing cricket with the kids,” she told the Herald. “Thanks to the upgrade of the playground, Davis Park has become much more family-oriented as people are going out to the playground with their kids.”

Beaconsfield was one of four crime hotspot projects to be reviewed at the annual meeting last week of the South-West Metropolitan Partnership Forum, a body that engages residents with a raft of government and community sector organisations to tackle root causes rather than simply reacting with police raids.

According to director Karin MacArthur the projects have exceeded her expectations in tackling anti-social behaviour and improving school attendance.

“This progress is particularly evident in our place-based collaborative intervention in Davis Park, Beaconsfield, and our collaborative project to support vulnerable and at risk 8–13-year-olds in Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville,” Dr MacArthur told the Herald.

Another forum initiative aims to get kids from the region staying in school.

Winterfold primary principal Steve Berry says attendance at his school has improved. South Lake primary teacher Kathryn Hart says kids’ behaviour has changed for the better.  

One boy in the program used to be so withdrawn he hardly spoke to anyone.

“Now, thanks to the confidence the project has given him in himself, he has really come out of his shell and is even DJ-ing the school’s weekly lunchtime disco.

“Before he never did his homework; now he always does it and he does it with great care and attention.”

Dr MacArthur says the forum faces funding challenges.


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