Politics

Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas calls for CBD CURFEW to stamp out teen violence


Perth’s Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas has called for a curfew in the CBD and in Northbridge, the city’s entertainment district, in an effort to nip teen violence in the bud.

Police have become frustrated with the number of under-16s roaming unaccompanied through the late-night district, he said.

Speaking to The West Australian, Zempilas flagged the idea of a 10pm curfew for unaccompanied under-16s, a day after the McGowan government announced a $5 million investment in tackling antisocial behaviour and violence in the area.

Zempilas cited the case of Perth-based English soccer player Danny Hodgson, who was allegedly attacked by a teenager outside Perth train station on a night out.

Hodgson’s injuries were so severe that he spent 17 days in an induced coma and more than 50 days in Royal Perth Hospital’s intensive care unit after the September 5 attack.

Danny Hodgson, pictured here with his father, faces a long road to recovery after being attacked by a teenager on a night out.
Danny Hodgson, pictured here with his father, faces a long road to recovery after being attacked by a teenager on a night out. Credit: 7NEWS

He now faces a long road to recovery after the allegedly unprovoked assault.

Zempilas said people shouldn’t have to question whether or not it was too unsafe to go into Northbridge at night.

“The measures by the government are welcomed, but if in six months time we still have the same problems, then other solutions need to be explored,” he said.

“Hard-working decent West Australians expect to go into Northbridge and have a good time … an unsafe environment is not the Perth any of us want.

Perth Lord mayor Basil Zempilas.
Perth Lord mayor Basil Zempilas. Credit: Sunrise

“People are going into Yagan Square and being yelled at by gangs of two, four, six, eight.”

Zempilas said he could not understand why underage youths gathered in the city late at night because they were not allowed into licensed venues.

“If I’d said to my parents that I was hopping on a train and travelling into Northbridge, they would have said: ‘No you’re not, you’re staying home’,” he said.

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Hard-working decent West Australians expect to go into Northbridge and have a good time

Any decision on a curfew would have to be made by the state government and enforced by WA Police, he conceded.

Opposition police spokesman Peter Collier said he disagreed with the idea of a curfew because it punished an entire community for the actions of a “small group” of disruptive teenagers.

He said more police boots on the ground was a more effective way to combat anti-social behaviour.

Police are regularly dealing with antisocial behaviour and violence in Northbridge. File image.
Police are regularly dealing with antisocial behaviour and violence in Northbridge. File image. Credit: 7NEWS

Mr Collier said the most significant weapon to combat violence was increasing police numbers.

“There is nothing more powerful than the presence of dozens of police uniforms to act as a deterrent to those breaking the law,” he said.

“People are fed up to the back teeth with the ‘new day, new idea’ approach to confronting violence in Northbridge.”



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