Concerned residents in Anchorage Island.
Concerned residents in Anchorage Island. John Gass

Youths terrorise elderly at wealthy Tweed enclave

THE alleged assault of two elderly men at a wealthy Tweed Heads enclave has prompted residents to speak out against what they claim is out-of-control youth, laying siege to their neighbourhood.

On October5 two Anchorage Island residents, who had gone to the rescue of a neighbour who was being verbally abused by a teenage girl, said they were in turn assaulted by her.

Residents said it was the most extreme case so far in what has become an ongoing issue of anti-social behaviour by the dozens of young people who gather to jump off the island's traffic bridge on weekends and holidays.

The residents, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, have been complaining to police and local politicians since September 2010, but said their concerns were not being taken seriously.

Concerned residents in Tweed Heads are worried about the youth on the bridge.
Concerned residents in Tweed Heads are worried about the youth on the bridge. John Gass

Quayside Court and Island Dr residents cop the brunt of the problem, which includes youths blocking, harassing and throwing stones at motorists on the bridge, damage to private property, obscene language, vandalism of public property, people urinating into the waterway and mooning, and throwing items like shopping trolleys, bikes and bins into the canal and river.

Residents said parents often dropped their children off early in the morning, to spend the day unsupervised on the island.

Said one man, who was considering leaving just months after moving into the area: "I thought it would be a lovely piece of paradise but paradise has turned sour. We came here to retire and have peace and quiet. We don't want to be harassed by juveniles."

Another resident said the problem had started in 2005, but had been escalating, with increasingly aggressive behaviour.

"We've paid a lot of money for these places but we have no voice," she said.

Tweed State MP Geoff Provest said there was a problem on the island which he had raised with senior police last summer after "it was starting to escalate out of control".

He said, as a result, patrols were increased in the area, and he would raise the matter with police again.

CASE STUDY IN TERROR

PETER and Roger (names changed) said they were shocked by the viciousness and foul-mouth of the teenage girl they accuse of assaulting them near their Anchorage Island home this month.

Peter, 76, rushed to the assistance of his 83-year-old neighbour Mary, who he could hear from across the canal being abused by a teenage girl.

When he got there, the girl started to abuse and threaten him, including: "My father will wipe the floor with you. He's part of the Hell's Angels."

Peter said she hit him in the face, knocking his glasses off, and then pushed him to the ground.

"While I was down, she tried to put the boot in, but I used my hands to fend her off," he said.

By that time another neighbour, Roger, 60, arrived holding a camera. The girl then pushed him and tried to rip the camera out of his hands.

The police arrived soon after, with the girl alleging the men had assaulted her.

Peter and Roger were so shaken up by the incident they are now considering leaving the area.

Mary said on many occasions she has been abused, had rocks thrown at her windows and garden, and other private property damaged by youths who gather to swim at and jump off the bridge.



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