Eaglehawk residents fear mob of vandals

A MOB of young vandals are terrorising residents and motorists in Eaglehawk’s main street, according to several people in the area. 

Willi Carney, 70, said she and husband Kevin, 72, had been threatened by the group and that one person had tried to throw a large block of concrete through their window on Thursday night. 

Ms Carney said bins had been placed on a corner in the middle of High Street, forcing a B-double truck to swerve onto the wrong side of the road and almost lose control.

“It’s a mob of ferals wreaking havoc,” she said. 

“It’s become an absolute nightmare. 

“I saw one carrying a knife... I’ve never been scared of anybody in my life, but my husband’s worried I might get a knife between the ribs.” 

The former mayor said she was used to occasional vandalism but that things had recently become much more serious. 

“This is a consistent pattern that has emerged,” she said. 

“They put out a big plastic bin from the Salvation Army in the middle of the road and they set fire to a bin on a total fire ban day. 

“My main concern now is violence.”

A local business owner, who asked not to be named, said things had escalated about a month ago. 

“What Willi’s saying is not exaggerated in the least,” she said. 

“We are talking about three times a week, groups of youths roaming the streets, trying to cause accidents, setting things on fire, shouting abuse. 

“Does someone have to get hurt before it gets taken seriously?” 

The shop owner said it had taken police 45 minutes to arrive to some calls. 

“We’ve had quite a lot of broken windows, more in the past month than the last three years,” she said. 

“They’re using tactics of intimidation.”

The window of an Eaglehawk hairdresser has been boarded and another shop owner said to have been targeted in an attack did not want to speak to the Bendigo Advertiser. 

Sergeant Jenelle Kelly said police responded to incidents based on priority. 

“We will always attempt to get to any incident in the fastest time possible,” she said. 

“Sometimes it will take longer to get to some things depending on the significance and importance of the jobs. 

“Our priorities depend on urgency and immediacy.

“We also need to make sure we do the best job at each job we attend to make sure we’re following things through to the end.”

Cr Peter Cox said he was concerned by the matter and that visitors to the town could be to blame. 

“I think Willi’s concerned that there’s not a full-time police station at Eaglehawk,” he said. 

“We need to fully investigate and see what we can do about it.”

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