Gang terrorises the aged

By ADRIAN MILLER

amiller@dailyexaminer.com.au

THEY have been terrorised, taunted and threatened.

Cars windows have been smashed, ornaments trashed and numerous bicycles stolen.

Aged residents are living in fear, petrified to leave their homes at night.

Residents of Grafton's Pullen Close claim their normally peaceful street has been invaded by a group of up to 12 youths who prowl the neighbourhood causing trouble.

One resident said the situation was so bad the mostly aged tenants feared for their safety.

"All these people who live there; they're mostly old people, they're that far on edge it's not funny," he said.

"Someone's going to have a heart-attack shortly."

The man said the residents had approached numerous organisations for help but nothing had come of their pleas.

"Police say they can't do anything because they reckon their hands are tied (and) DoCS can't do anything because they reckon the police have got to handle it," he said. "And the housing commission can't do anything because they said they're trying to work in with the police."

Clarence Valley Community Services Centre client services manager, Jim Brock, said because the children were not victims of abuse, DoCS would be unlikely to get involved.

"The welfare of the children is the primary responsibility of DoCS," he said.

"Where children are causing a threat to other people becomes an issue of criminality which is the responsibility of the police and we have very little power to make any kind of effective change with those children."

But a Department of Housing spokesmen said staff were hopeful of a solution soon.

"The Department of Housing is aware of disturbances in the Pullen Close area and is working with a range of government agencies to resolve the matter," he said.

"A meeting is being held with a tenant, their family, the department and the Department of Health to ensure the necessary support services are in place for those who need them."



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