PHOTOS: 'Unchallenged, wilful damage': Vandals running riot in Bowen

FOR one Sydneysider the chance to own his own home in the country sounded like a dream come true.

But the reality proved very different as three years later he continues to battle vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the Bowen area.

The man, who asked not to be named, said he doesn't see a way out of his situation, and admits his partner would move from their modest Nunkeri Place home tomorrow if she could.

However the couple's house, like many in the area, is an ex-Housing NSW property and the conditions of sale mean the buyer, or a family member, must live in the property for seven years before they can rent it out.

"These kids aren't at school, not chastised or charged for criminal offences. Where are their parents and why aren't they pulled into line?"

"It stinks," he said.

"I feel horrible, but we can't afford to live anywhere else.

"I came to Orange and spent a lot of money improving the house, but the area's just gone downhill," he said.

The man admits having not lived in the area before he had no idea what he was buying in to and claims public housing tenants are largely to blame for the anti-social behaviour.

He said he was shocked to learn many of those committing the crimes are children, some as young as six years old.

"It's not as bad as Dubbo yet, but it could be," he said.

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He said any empty houses in the area are routinely vandalised, have their fences removed, windows smashed and rubbish dumped in their backyards.

"I would like to know who pays for this damage, taxpayers or the increases in house insurance that follows on from this unchallenged, wilful damage," he said.

"These kids aren't at school, not chastised or charged for criminal offences. Where are their parents and why aren't they pulled into line?

"These kids are left on the streets late at night left to their own devices."

The man said many residents in the area feel they can't leave their houses for fear they will be targeted.

"We've decided that one of us has to be here all the time, we can't even go on a holiday together because we don't know what we'll come back to," he said.

Nunkeri Place is not the only street that's being targeted, residents in Mirral Way and Tumbelluwa Place have also contacted the Central Western Daily claiming to be in the same situation.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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