Petitions call for improved safety around Umina oval
A petition with 400 signatures has been presented to Central Coast Council and a further 740 signatures calling for improved safety at Umina oval and surrounds.
The playground area and car parks at the end of Sydney Ave and Melbourne Ave are not safe places to be at night, according to petition organiser Ms Gabby Greyem.
Ms Greyem, who operates Jasmine Greens Kiosk which is located in the precinct, said she presented a similar 400-signature petition to Central Coast Council in May 2016.
Ms Greyem has also documented "crime and vandalism" she has experienced since taking the lease to operate the precinct kiosk in June 2014 and the list included over 170 incidents.
"The ongoing break-ins of houses, local businesses and vandalism of park facilities is not acceptable and must be stopped," Ms Greyem said.
"The violent fights, abuse of alcohol and illicit substances by minors, leading to the hospitalisation of young people after serious fights, is alarming and a damning reflection of the lack of activities for teenagers on the Peninsula and the lack of Police resources to curb this dangerous behaviour," she said.
"We want to see the Peninsula Recreation Precinct become a safe and crime-free zone as soon as possible.
"We appeal to Central Coast Council to apply for $1 million in Federal Safer Communities Funding."
She said the money should be used for flood lighting, CCTV cameras, random security monitoring and to refit the old football club building as a youth centre.
Ms Greyem said solar-powered flood lights lit every night of the year would deter youth crime and violence.
CCTV cameras, together with random visits by a security contractor, could be used to monitor activity and catch vandals and perpetrators of crime and violence.
She said the abandoned football club on Umina Oval could become a youth centre and venue for teenagers to socialise and connect with community services in a fun and inviting way, especially on weekends and in school holidays.
Other initiatives could also be explored "to provide real lasting solutions to youth antisocial behaviour in Umina".
"We appeal to the NSW Government to: increase funding and resources for Woy Woy police; install a 24-hour police station in Umina CBD; and provide additional police patrols to the Peninsula and Umina," Ms Greyem said.
"Sadly to date the police have advocated for a dark Peninsula Recreation Precinct," she said.
"The community and I believe this has been the case for too long and it's not working.
"We believe it's time for lights at the skate park and in the precinct to be on every night, to make the park safe for everyone to use at night.
"The precinct is a site for regular night time violence, youth drug and alcohol abuse, fight clubs, car-burn-outs and bashings," Ms Greyem said.
"Just this year, two young men have been seriously bashed in the precinct, both hospitalised in intensive care.
"I have witnessed on multiple occasions, hundreds of young people coming to the park, the car park at the end of Sydney Ave, and the beach at night to hang out.
"Due to the lack of safe night time activities for teenagers and young adults on the Peninsula, the precinct is a popular destination for young people to gather and take part in anti-social and very dangerous activities."
This has included breaking into Jasmine Greens cafe. The shop has been broken into over 30 times in three years.
Public toilets have been vandalised, and graffiti painted on buildings and park facilities.
Local residents have been threatened with violence and their house windows broken, especially on Melbourne Ave and on Sydney Ave.
"I have had my cafe set alight, broken into, parts of the building ripped off, surrounded by drunken gangs of over 50 kids at a time, glass bottles smashed into my shop and kids climbing all over the building in the day and especially at night," Ms Greyem said.
"The security concerns are so grave that I have been unable to trade as a restaurant at night due to safety concerns for my staff and for my customers.
"Just last Sunday, my bread delivery, made at 5am, was stolen from outside my cafe door and burnt in the precinct," she said.
"Most weekend mornings, my staff and I spend at least one hour cleaning up smashed glass, blood and debris from the night's violent activities, before we can open our cafe to trade.
"In the 2017 June school holidays, the public toilets at the back of my cafe were vandalised every day in the first week.
"Every toilet was smashed every day for a week, until Council locked the public toilets for the rest of the holidays, leaving visitors with no public toilet facilities.
"The financial and social costs of this senseless violence and vandalism is massive, to Central Coast Council and to our whole community and local economy.
"Every time there has been a violent attack on a person or a break-in to Jasmine Greens, the CCTV footage that is meant to feed back to base to Gosford Police station has not been found, as the cameras do not work.
"Additionally the cameras currently in the area are not designed to film in the dark, they need light to capture video footage and catch the perpetrators of this criminal activity.
"I am still waiting for Central Coast Council to take this matter seriously and act on solving these important community safety concerns," Ms Greyem said.
Central Coast Council has confirmed it will now apply to the Federal Government "to install more CCTV cameras in the Umina Beach area".
Emails, 7 Nov 2017
Gabby Greyem, Jasmine Greens Kiosk