Trashing a neighbourhood: Lawless boys have their Way

RESIDENTS of Mirral Way in Bowen say a group of young boys has caused thousands of dollars damage by vandalising houses, fences and cars in the area.

One of the residents, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, said the “lawless” boys wander the street night and day, even during school hours.

However unless police catch them in the act, it’s hard for them to intervene she said.

“By the time police get here they’re gone,” she said.

According to the woman, many of the properties in the area are owned by Housing NSW or are ex-Housing NSW properties that have been sold to private buyers who are house-proud and upset their area is being targeted by vandals.

“There’s houses in this area that they’ve just got inside and destroyed,” she said.

“We’ve contacted police and Housing NSW to try and get them to intervene but nothing has been done,” she said.

“The situation around here is that everyone is feeling insecure about leaving their houses because they’re worried someone will break in.”

The woman said she many residents felt they had nowhere to turn.

“We brought the properties in good faith but now we’re living here and these children are out of control,” she said.

A real estate agent who manages one of the properties recently targeted by vandals said she’s working with police and Orange City Council to try and track down those responsible and stop it happening again and understands residents’ frustration.

A spokesperson for Housing NSW confirmed the department had received a complaint this week from a private owner in nearby Phillip Street regarding vandalism and children entering a vacant Housing NSW property in her street. 

“Housing NSW staff inspected the property on February 19 and found that there has been forced entry as well as damage to the window, walls and floor,” she said.

“This vandalism has now been reported to the police and the property will be boarded up to prevent any further unauthorised access.”

The spokesperson confirmed Housing NSW had inspected other properties in the general area and found small signs of damage on a number of them including broken windows and fences. 

“Housing NSW will speak to the tenant to further investigate the complaint,” she said.

She said Housing NSW staff take antisocial behaviour in Orange extremely seriously and work closely with council, police and other agencies to respond to antisocial behaviour. 

“Where public housing tenants are found to engage in antisocial behaviour, Housing NSW does not hesitate to seek eviction action against tenants in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal,” she said.

“Housing NSW strongly urges any member of the community who can provide evidence of criminal or antisocial activity to come forward to either the department or the police.”

Police confirmed they were investigating reports of vandalism in the area and urged residents to call them immediately if they witnessed any suspicious activity.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

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