Residents of Tarnica Road, Northpark, have had enough.
The anti-social behaviour of unruly teenagers at the park on Tarnica Road starts as early as 5pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Residents claim teenage gangs have had midnight brawls, driven dangerously on the curb and narrow pathways in Arrathorne Pl, knocked down rubbish bins after a fight in the park which has made the neighbourhood very unsafe.
A stabbing incident a couple of months ago at Tarnica Park (also known as Bowscale Place Reserve) as a result of a brawl between two teenage gangs saw a 14-year old stabbed three times.
Resident Gordon Luke says the gang fight was recorded on surveillance cameras by
one of the neighbours. “She even called the police but they said they didn’t have enough resources to come over then.
“Once the ruckus outside died down she walked over to the site and found this young lad who was staggering around the place. He had been stabbed.
“She called the ambulance and took him to the East Care Accident and Medical Centre and was told that they can’t do anything. He may die, they said.
“She then called an ambulance and took him to Middlemore Hospital,” Luke said.
Later the woman was threatened by the gang saying they would burn her house down.
Another neighbour also witnessed the violence, but was summoned back into the house by his wife since the teenagers were carrying weapons and a baseball bat.
It has now got to a point where residents find it unsafe to use the pathway near the park that connects Tarnica Road to Botany.
They say that seniors living alone in the houses surrounding the park are living in fear.
“By 9pm it gets so dark that you can barely see what is happening in the park. If we are walking past the park we get abused and threatened by the youth gangs. And if confronted it is difficult to tackle the 16 and 17-year-olds who are quite strong.”
Another resident said he can’t take his grandchildren to the park anymore. “There is broken glass everywhere and obscenities written all over the place. I wouldn’t want my grandchildren to read it.”
Police and community constables have visited the park on several occasions and suggested that lighting up the park may deter crime.
Gordon and a group of neighbours is getting a petition signed by more than 150 residents in the area. A public meeting will be held with the help of Botany MP Jami- Lee Ross on Saturday, March 9, 11am at Tarnica Park, to ask for lighting in the park.
“I am helping the residents take their fight for funding for measures to keep their park safe to the Howick Local Board,” said Ross.
“It was alarming to hear of the fights taking place in the middle of the night at Tarnica Park, particularly when weapons are being produced.
“The Local Board has funding for very initiatives like this. They need to take the community seriously when the safety of locals is being put at risk.”
Organising this community meeting with Luke is just the start.
“I will be attending the Howick Local Board meeting with the Tarnica residents on March 18.”