Police won’t evict

POLICE say they won’t evict people from Tent City without a request from either Fremantle council or the Department of Communities.

Late Thursday the police media unit sent out a release saying they would work with the council and department to provide law enforcement but wouldn’t go further.

That came despite also revealing they’d attended at least 77 calls for assistance associated with the camp including the alleged assault of a police officer by a 31-year-old woman.

The Herald has confirmed that a Spare Parts Puppet Theatre volunteer was a victim of an alleged assault when she turned up on Friday to help usher families in to watch the puppet play Beanstalk. Fremantle MP Simone McGurk says she doesn’t know what went down, but the 27-year-old volunteer had a big red mark across her face after the altercation just across the road from her office. A 19-year-old woman from Success has been charged and is due to appear in the Fremantle magistrate’s court on February 8.

The police release also confirmed the link between the alleged sexual assault of two girls aged 13 and 14 years in Fleet Street on New Year’s Eve to the camp, as previously reported in the Herald.

A 44-year-old man has since been charged with the sexual penetration and indecent dealing of a child over 13 and under 16 years and a 41-year-old man has been charged with two counts of indecent dealing with a child over 13 and under 16.

Other charges stemming from the camp include a 43-year-old man charged with assaulting a 42-year-old with a rock at the park, while a 49-year-old woman has been charged with threatening another woman with a knife.

House the Homeless spokesman Jesse Noakes was sporting his own shiner this week, a camp resident telling the Herald it came while he was trying to defuse an argument in the park.

Mr Noakes said he didn’t want to comment and make it a “distraction” but said violence and anti-social behaviour had been an issue in the port city well before homeless people started pitching tents together on Pioneer Park.

by STEVE GRANT

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