Put up or ‘move out’

Syringes found in a green-waste bin at the Dandenong apartment block.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

 Residents in a Dandenong apartment block say repeated calls to police have failed to halt an alleged drug-dealing neighbour.

They instead claim that police have advised them to move out of the Stud Road address.

Since the tenant moved in last year, it has become a den for drug injections, discarded syringes, late-night commotions, assaults, break-ins, car thefts and sleep-outs, residents say.

The tenant’s ‘customers’ are said to congregate in groups at the site for hours, day and night. At times they have allegedly broken down the tenant’s door, and verbally abused and assaulted neighbours.

“While the area has always been quite dangerous at night, we were safe within our apartment building,” a resident told Star News.

“I live in fear of getting hurt each time I have to pass them on the stairs.

“There are times where I will wait in my car or in my apartment until they have dispersed.”

Another resident found syringes found in the block’s green-waste bin.

“Some residents have moved out. Others have taken to spending the weekends away.

“And this is just the tip of the iceberg. It is a disaster waiting to happen and will not end well I fear.”

In the past month, the two residents have made 14 triple-0 calls for help, and attended Dandenong police station three times to report on the situation.

Police have attended multiple times in response, allegedly telling residents that the tenant was “known to them”.

Yet, residents claim no police action has been taken. Police have allegedly told residents they have no power to search the premises for drugs.

“We have attempted to communicate the seriousness of the situation to them, however the response we most often hear from them is ‘you should move’,” a resident said.

“They have told us that they are frustrated, overworked and under-resourced, with often only two vans being available to respond to triple-0 calls at night in Dandenong and multiple jobs being logged.

“We need a change and it needs to come before the rest of us take the advice of the police and finally move.”

Greater Dandenong councillor Matthew Kirwan said he was “shocked and disappointed” that residents were being advised to move out of Dandenong.

There were increasing reports of crime and anti-social issues near Dandenong’s CBD, such as Dandenong’s inner-west and Stud Road, Cr Kirwan said.

It required more State resources in law enforcement and mental health, drug and other support services.

“Residents are living in fear with criminal incidents not being attended to and the underlying social issues not being dealt with.”

A Victoria Police spokesperson said officers were aware of ongoing complaints of “alleged criminal activity” at the address.

“Officers are looking into the information provided to ascertain what, if any, offences have been committed.”

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