Tarneit safety petition presented

Tarneit residents Mohammed Irzan Ahmed, Ritai A. Raheem and Aijaz Moinuddin present a petition calling for greater safety and security in Tarneit, to Wyndham council. (Damjan Janevski) 406443_01

Cade Lucas

Fed up Tarneit residents have presented a petition to Wyndham council and Victoria Police demanding greater safety and security in the suburb.

Containing 500 signatures, the petition was presented to Wyndham council on Monday afternoon, with organisers then meeting with mayor Jennie Barrera and members of Victoria Police to discuss their concerns about crime in the area.

The petition was the idea of Tarneit resident Aijaz Moinuddin, who said it was two violent incidents involving young people that convinced him to take action.

“Last year there was an incident involving Ryan Sing who was stabbed in Tarneit,” he said.

“In April there was a similar incident involving a young boy of the same age group (15) who was robbed and threatened with a knife on Butterfly Boulevard and after that I decided to start a petition and organise a rally.”

While he was denied permission to hold the rally, Mr Moinuddin’s petition demanding an increased police presence in Tarneit, with longer operating hours at Wyndham North Police Station and more police patrols in parks and public spaces, won him an audience with local authorities.

“Council was happy to facilitate a meeting to discuss the issues and we have committed to working with Police and the community on a positive way forward,” said Cr Barrera of the meeting.

In response to demands outlined in the petition, a spokesperson for Victoria Police said station operating hours weren’t indicative of police presence.

“The temporary closure of Wyndham North’s reception counter means police are out in the community preventing crime, rather than sitting behind a desk,” the spokesperson said.

“The Tarneit community lives less than 10km away from one of the largest police stations in the state which is open 24-7. Not only do we prioritise patrols of new and emerging estates, but we also conduct bi-monthly meetings with them to address crime and provide crime prevention tips.

Wyndham police also conduct a regular nightly operation alongside a range of specialist police to target break-ins, car thefts and dangerous driving while the community sleeps.”

A spokesperson for the state government said building the Wyndham 24-hour police complex and funding new officers and patrols in Wyndham demonstrated the government’s commitment to community safety in the area.

The spokesperson also highlighted recent crime statistics showing Wyndham having a lower than average crime rate.

According to Mr Moinuddin, those statistics aren’t reflected on the ground.

“People have stopped going for the evening walks because they are too scared,” he said, adding that if he had his time again, he and his family wouldn’t have chosen to live in Tarneit.

“I would have moved to a safer area, a more established area.”