Suffolk park residents sick of vandalism
By RACHEL AFFLICK
SUFFOLK Park residents have had enough of young people running amok in their streets, drinking and vandalising property.
Local residents can't understand why there isn't a greater police presence in the area, and say they are tired of being ignored by the authorities.
The Byron Bay Rural Fire shed had been vandalised every night since the start of the school holidays, according to senior deputy captain of the brigade, Stuart Amos.
Over a period of four nights, kids kicked in fences surrounding the shed and nearby park, smashed a number of sensor lights and ripped the screen door, Mr Amos said.
They also kicked in water pipes at the station leaving water gushing onto the grounds, broke into the electrical box and turned off the power, and damaged a roller door so it couldn't be opened.
Mr Amos said the vandalism was endangering the community.
"When they turned off the power to the fire shed it put our trucks out of action and flattened our CB radios," he said.
Mr Amos said it was 'always the same kids' doing the damage, and he couldn't understand how they continued to flout the law.
One Suffolk Park resident, Gregg Miller, said it was common to see groups of 10 to 15 kids congregating on the streets in the middle of the night, some in their later teens, but some much younger.
He had recently seen a number of drunken 11-year-olds staggering up the road.
"I called the police but it's 10 to 15 minutes out of town and they've got limited resources," he said. "Most of the time the kids just get away."
Mr Miller said he had repeatedly requested that both the Byron police and council rangers increase their patrols in the town. Suffolk Park resident Andrew Hoskins said fireworks were let off on his front doorstep last Friday night.
"We just don't get any satisfaction from anyone," he said.
Byron Bay duty officer Inspector Greg Jago said police patrolled the Byron area, including Suffolk Park, around the clock.
"Unfortunately school holidays are a problem time for police," he said.
"Young people with limited activities to occupy their time sometimes find themselves committing unlawful acts."
Police were still investigating the fire shed vandalism. Anyone with information should call Byron Police or Crimestoppers.