Errington safety concerns increase

Anti-social behaviour, drugs and drinking in and around Errington Reserve, St Albans. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 254640_06

Tara Murray

Safety concerns continue to grow around Errington Reserve in St Albans.

As reported by Star Weekly in June, many people feel unsafe using the area which has recently been upgraded by Brimbank council.

At the time, local football coach Robert Black said it was common to find drug paraphernalia in the area, while there are regularly burnt-out cars nearby.

Star Weekly was told last week by a resident that the behaviour has gotten worse, with many people avoiding the area.

Brimbank councillor Virginia Tachos took to social media saying she was aware of an increase in safety concerns in the Errington precinct.

“I have reported this to the [chief executive] and requested an urgent meeting with the police ASAP to address the situation,” the post said.

“It’s unacceptable – that people do not feel safe using council recreational facilities.”

People commenting on the post mentioned being threatened by groups of drunk people, harassment, witnessing fights and arguments, people urinating in public, syringes and people breaking public gathering orders.

Mayor Ranka Rasic said the criminal behaviour was a police matter.

“However, in June 2021 council conducted a security audit and assessment of the Errington Reserve precinct and worked with a number of stakeholders, including the police and council’s sport and recreation officers who have contact with local sporting groups,” she said.

“Initiatives to improve the amenity of the area include installing additional lighting. Once restrictions are sufficiently eased there are plans to hold outdoor programs and events to encourage positive behaviours and bring more families and community groups to enjoy the facilities offered at the Errington Reserve precinct.”

Local police didn’t respond to a request for comment this week, but Keilor Downs Senior Sergeant Terry West said in June that police had increased patrols in the area and were looking at other measures to help keep residents safe.

“We are aware of some issues with local sporting clubs and we’re working with the council to address those concerns,” he said.

“We’re increasing patrols as much as we can. We’re working with the community where we can.”