Bid to offload Melbourne park trashed by young thugs

Bid to offload Melbourne park trashed by young African thugs, by Simone Fox Koob.

Residents say they are too scared to use a park and community centre because it is controlled and trashed by local youths, leading its frustrated owners to consider selling it rather than pay soaring maintenance costs.

The community centre in Tarneit’s small Ecoville Park estate in Melbourne’s west was built seven years ago but residents say it has become a meeting point for local young people over the past year.

Extensive damage, including graffiti with the gang-related Menace to Society tag, started to escalate three months ago. ­Recently the glass panels of the building were smashed, they say.

Residents told The Australian that groups of young men of African appearance gathered in the park most nights, smashing property and leaving rubbish.

A playground recently was set on fire and cars parked nearby have had windscreens cracked.

“There are heaps — I would say 20 to 25 people (each night) — young, usually from African background,” said 18-year-old resident Marmik Bhavsar, whose family moved in across the road from park early this month. …

A bid to hire security guards to patrol the area failed after the guards were verbally abused and violently assaulted by gang members, [the report] says.

Last month, police had to call in back-up after they responded to reports of offensive behaviour in the park. A large group of youths reportedly approached the officers and asked why they were in “their park”.

Welcome to Africa.

hat-tip Stephen Neil