By Esther Lauaki
A Wyndham Vale father is calling for police to ramp up patrols in the city’s west following an alleged attack on his 15-year-old son.
Ricardo Galvez wants a heavier police presence in Wyndham Vale, Manor Lakes and Tarneit in the north after his son Andy and a friend were threatened by a group of six youths and had their mobile phones stolen last month.
The incident was one of the latest in a spate of attacks on teens in the area since October.
“They were approached by a group of young guys, who looked like they were the same age as my son or older, when they were walking home from the park along Macquarie Drive on November 16,” Mr Galvez said. “They were made to unlock their phones and give them the passwords or they would bash them.”
Werribee police last week arrested two teenagers in relation to the incident.
Mr Galvez said numerous neighbours he had spoken with had teenagers who had experienced similar incidents.
“Our kids can’t go anywhere without fear of being threatened by groups of youths,” he told Star Weekly.
“People are very unhappy and they’ve had enough … We can’t live like that.
“We want to see more police so we feel safe.”
Wyndham Acting Inspector Brett Kahan said youth crime is a focus.
“The north is a real focus area for us and we have been actively working on getting more patrols in that area,” Acting Inspector Kahan said.
“We do acknowledge that there is a challenge in getting more patrols into the north.
“It is such a huge growth area and the difficulty is that police numbers are not growing as quickly as the population is out there … It’s a significant area to cover.
“Youth are moving into the area at a rate like never before and we are mindful of the youth crime rate particularly in Tarneit, Wyndham Vale and Manor Lakes.”
Police have had their work cut out for them as a spate of attacks on youths sweeps Wyndham.
Last Tuesday, an 18-year-old man was allegedly robbed of his phone, shoes, headphones, a bankcard and some money when he was walking along Armstrong Road in Manor Lakes. Police arrested a 16-year-old a short time later at Eagle Stadium in Werribee.
On November 9, two teenage boys – aged 13 and 16 – were allegedly assaulted and robbed in Kookaburra Avenue, Werribee.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00
~with Alesha Capone