Rise in youth anti-social behaviour causes concern

Concerned: The Parks Community Network operations manager Mathew Dillon standing behind the Wetherill Park Community Centre. Picture: Simon Bennett
Concerned: The Parks Community Network operations manager Mathew Dillon standing behind the Wetherill Park Community Centre. Picture: Simon Bennett

The Parks Community Network operations manager Mathew Dillon has had enough.

Over the past couple of years the area behind the not-for-profit organisation base at Wetherill Park he says has become a thoroughfare for anti-social behaviour - primarily by youths.

Mr Dillion said there has been steady increase of people accessing the sheltered area in the early mornings and evenings.

When the Champion visited the area, there had been a build up of garbage, lighters, marijuana satchels, scissors and a modified bong made from a bottle.

"They come prepared," Mr Dillon said.

"They set up milk crates and they feel quite safe because they have multiple escape paths. We have even caught people having sex.

"It's getting worse; more and more people are using the area so there is more rubbish and it becomes a safety issue for the staff."

Mr Dillon said one of his biggest concerns is the area is within earshot of the boardroom where they host meetings and provide support to people in the community who need assistance.

"I regularly have to go out and tell people to move away," he said.

"Something needs to be done because it is becoming more of an issue."

The Wetherill Park Community Centre building, which is owned by Stockland Wetherill Park, is leased by Fairfield Council which in turn leases a space to Parks Community Network to provide youth and community services in the city.

A Fairfield Council spokesperson said NSW Police and Stockland Wetherill Park management have been informed of the anti-social behaviour.

"We encourage any resident concerned about crime or anti-social behaviour in their area to get in contact with their local police station, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or in an emergency, call 000," the spokesperson said.

Stockland Wetherill Park centre manager Michael Iraninejad said: "The safety of our customers and the community is our priority and we are working closely with local police and security contractors to appropriately manage any incidences of anti-social behaviour and provide an inclusive, welcoming centre."

Fairfield City Police Area Command crime coordinator senior sergeant Brett Grenfell said: "Stockland Wetherill Park is always on the radar for youth related crime and a high focus for our daily taskings."