PARADISE LOST

By ADRIAN MILLER

YAMBA residents who live in some of the town's most sought-after properties are finding themselves under siege in their own homes.

Residents of Oceania Court in the Beachside development are constantly under attack from youths who throw rocks over back fences, smashing windows and damaging roofs.

The situation escalated last weekend when a rock was thrown into a room where a four-year-old girl was sleeping. Only by luck was she not hit. Residents feel outraged and are at the end of their tether over the fact that nothing seems able to be done to stop the incidents. Rocks through windows are not the only problems residents face, with one having property vandalised by holidaymakers.

While residents do not blame the police over the continuing incidents, and even describe the police response to their calls as 'terrific', they feel someone needs to start taking responsibility for the recurring disturbances.

The situation has become so bad children cannot play in their own backyards, and one resident has resorted to installing bullet-proof mesh on windows.

One resident said incidents were not isolated. "It's kids from the (Aboriginal) mission and it happens all year round, at least once a week. They hang out by the bus shelter throwing stubbies and rubble that is left over from when they put the concrete slabs and path in."

Another resident said locals wondered why they were being picked on. The youths had not been provoked by residents.

One resident said she believed the acts of destruction could be a product of boredom, or a desperate situation.

"I'd love to help them read or write or get to school or whatever, I really would. We used to help one kid out with his spelling, the next minute he's throwing rocks onto our roof."

She said something needed to be done to help the youths.

A resident said holidaymakers had caused her problems in the past week ? they had ripped out newly planted plants and a watering system.



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