TWO Batehaven caravan parks have been “terrorised” by groups of youths since last Christmas.
The Taldumande Caravan Park and the Clyde View Caravan Park, both on Beach Road at the southern end of Corrigans Beach, have been subjected to assault, vandalism, harassment, theft and trespassing at the hands of youths whose ages have been estimated at between eight and 15.
On Saturday night two windows in one of the Clyde View park’s cabins were smashed, reportedly by pieces of lead fired by shanghais.
Clyde View co-proprietor Carol Carver said police were called and attended on the night, but the perpetrators were back the next day.
“They threw lemons and hit me and someone else,” she said.
The police caught eight youths in Edward Road, Batehaven, soon after and spoke to them and noted their details.
Ms Carver said a group of youths constantly trespassed in the park and did not listen when they were told they were on private property.
“It seems there is a new breed of them that do whatever they want, thinking they won’t get into trouble,” she said.
“It’s damn scary. We are hard-working people who shouldn’t have to put up with that.”
The caretaker of the Taldumande Park, and
a caravan owner, said trouble had escalated since Christmas.
“I’ve been here for 22 years and I have never seen it this bad,” the caretaker said.
The caravan owner said there was a core group of up to 30 kids who congregated on a vacant council block next to Taldumande and drank alcohol.
Two weeks ago, the caravan owner stopped two children, who he estimated to be between 10 and 12 years old, from escaping with a freezer.
“They asked me ‘where did you come from?’ and then left the freezer there,” he said.
“Then they swore at me as they were walking off. They weren’t at all concerned.”
It was later found that a number of items had been taken from another freezer.
Police attended the park after complaints of anti-social behaviour last Friday.
“The police have been really good, but the kids disappear when they come and come back when they are gone,” he said.
He said a resident of the park aged in his 70s had been house-bound due to an ankle injury, and after the police left last Friday the youths started banging on his van, perhaps suspecting him of calling the police.
“It has reached the point where it is bloody intimidating,” the caravan owner said.
“The kids just walk through the park and abuse anyone who tells them they shouldn’t.
“The residents are afraid to come out of their vans at night.”
The caravan owner is even concerned for the welfare of the kids themselves.
“One guy who looked about 12 was so high on drugs he couldn’t even walk properly,” he said.
The caravan owner and the caretaker said they were considering installing CCTV cameras and employing security guards.