Representatives from the office of John Carey MLA, WA Police, City of Perth, business and resident neighbours and EPCG recently met in Victoria Gardens to discuss recent antisocial visitor behaviour in the park.
In particular, it was agreed that it is critical that residents and business owners report incidents to Police on 131 444 (extension 1). If a crime is taking place you can also call CityWatch on 9461 6611 to enable recording of the incident.
Meeting notes and an agreed action plan can be viewed at the end of this blog.
The community collaboration will be ongoing and has already seen a reduction in incidents.
Thanks to WA Police and the City of Perth for their support and to a number of residents who are helping the park remain litter-free. Also to the City of Perth East Perth Parks team who have conducted a week-long busy bee.
Victoria Gardens Community Meeting
Tuesday 14th January, 2020
Victoria Gardens, East Perth
Dr Robin Harvey – resident and EPCG member
Mr Jim Meneely – resident and EPCG member
Mr Mario Claudio – resident and EPCG member
Superintendent Darren Hart – WA Police
Senior Sergeant Jamie Brennan – WA Police
Sergeant Brook – WA Police
Ms Claire Comrie – Office of John Carey MLA
Konrad Seidl – City of Perth
Anne-Maree Ferguson – Chairperson, EPCG
NOTES & ACTION LIST
1. Victoria Gardens Issues Summary
The group discussed a number of visitor behaviour issues including noise, swearing and abuse, domestic violence, non-use of public toilets and drug and alcohol abuse and related behaviours.
The behaviour has escalated significantly since December 2019. Changes to Wellington Square use were noted as the most likely cause. It was also noted that future meetings should include Indigenous community representation.
The City of Perth is establishing improved links to the Noongar Patrol and other organisations such as Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service are also important stakeholders. The Victoria Gardens place community response will be replicated in other relevant locations within the City of Perth.
2. The Action Plan
2.1 WA Police will continue increased patrols and issuing of Move on Notices. This approach deals with the immediate need and does not then place offenders on a downward spiral of fines and prosecution. Patrols will also incorporate the public toilets.
2.2 City of Perth and Office of John Carey MLA will supply key City and State contacts for EPCG to letterbox to park neighbours; including the City Watch phone number. WA Police noted that it is helpful for residents to report issues via 131 444 to establish a pattern of behaviour and they are encouraged to do so each time incidents are observed. This in turn to facilitates sufficient resource allocation to the park. It is noted that a number of residents are currently reporting incidents at the park to police and when necessary others are encouraged to do so.
2.3 City of Perth and EPCG to develop a series of local events and activities in Victoria Gardens to activate the space at critical times of the day.
2.4 City of Perth and EPCG to develop co-branded visitor signage to replace temporary versions and incorporate the alcohol-free element.
2.5 City of Perth to review rubbish removal frequency with the view of increasing the rate of bin emptying or addition of larger event bins; especially on weekends.
2.6 The redevelopment plan for Wellington Square will take into account the displacement issues created with full park closure. The park will remain open throughout the months of the redevelopment.
2.7 EPCG to write to Department of Transport regarding CAT bus concerns and issues. Including the potential relocation of the Victoria gardens stop. John Carey MLA will also raise CAT bus safety concerns with Minister for Transport.
2.8 Meeting attendees will report back to the wider community on action plan progress at the next EPCG General meeting in February, 2020.