McGowan demands Fremantle tent city ‘end now’ amid ‘disturbing’ charges
The Premier is calling for the “tent city” in Fremantle to be removed, following an increase in violent and antisocial behaviour.
Mark McGowan says the situation at Fremantle’s pioneer park is “very disturbing”, and revealed charges have been laid against some of the people living at the camp.
The offences include an alleged sexual assault on two teenage girls by men aged 44 and 41.
Police say it happened along Fleet Street early in the morning on January 1.
A 49-year-old woman has also been charged after allegedly threatening another woman with a knife on January 15.
It’s also alleged a 42-year-old man was assaulted with a rock at Pioneer Park on January 9.
And a number of people had items stolen after being assaulted at Bathers Beach on January 2.
A 19-year-old woman has been charged after allegedly striking a woman in the face on January 15.
So far police have responded to over 77 calls for assistance related to the homeless camp since it began in Pioneer Park on Boxing Day.
Furthermore, a police officer was allegedly assaulted by a woman in High Street on January 17.
A number of matters are also under investigation.
The Premier says he met with WA Police yesterday after violent scenes erupted, sparking urgent calls for the camp to be shut down.
“This is a bad situation, innocent members of the public are being victimized, the local businesses are being attacked,” Mr McGowan said.
“This is wrong what’s going on here.”
Services have been set up in the park for several weeks, and about 100 vulnerable people are sleeping rough at the camp.
The Premier says their is little the state government and police can do because the Fremantle council enabled the tent city to be set up, which means they’re not trespassing.
“They’ve allowed them to continue on now for the best part of a month, the council needs to step up here,” he said.
“The council needs to assist us in resolving this issue.”