Bogan youth gang ‘terrorising’ beachside park and businesses
A GANG of Logan youths has been blamed for terrorising a Gold Coast community and sparking claims of a drug and youth justice crisis at a popular beachside park.
Gold Coast police said youth from Logan were catching trains from Beenleigh to Helensvale and then the light rail to Broadbeach to smoke drugs and take ice in the beachside Nikiforides Park.
Police said the drugged-up youths chose the park to congregate in as it was easily accessed from Logan by train and light rail and was also close to shops and the beach.
The Broadbeach park, across the road from the surf, is surrounded by four sporting clubs, a kindy, an art gallery, an Spar grocery store, residences and businesses.
Reports showed in the past 10 weeks, youths had damaged property, vandalised buildings, intimidated locals, put lives at risk and even stolen a starting gun from the surf club.
After the Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club locked its toilets to keep out the kids, a group threw a besser brick at a gas main forcing the entire road to be closed.
Police identified the youths as being from Logan after taking forensic swabs of blood found at the local Spar Express where the gang had smashed its way through the front glass window last week.
So far, nobody has been charged.
The owner, who did not want to be named, said there were two girls and two boys involved in the incident.
She said she has had to clear the shelves of Rexona which the kids were using to get high and called for tougher penalties for youths found guilty of violence and crime.
"These youths are thumbing their noses at the law because they know that nothing will happen," the Spar owner said.
Broadbeach Kindergarten administrator Danielle Sorensen said the Logan gang had started terrorising the area at the start of the school term on July 15.
"They are sleeping in the park behind the kindy and they have been seen peeing through our fence when they are high," she said.
"I understand they have hard backgrounds but there's still no excuse for that sort of behaviour near a kindy."
Surfers Paradise MP and Shadow Olympics Minister John-Paul Langbroek said community organisations and businesses were at breaking point, claiming it was a youth justice and drugs crisis.
He organised a community meeting on August 28 in a bid to throw a spotlight on the policing crisis in the area.
"There are reports of chroming - the act of inhaling household chemicals to get a high - ice addiction and general anti-social behaviour by youths, often from Logan and Ipswich, congregating in Nikiforides Park," Mr Langbroek said.
"They also stole cap starting guns from the surf club which could have been used to intimidate people within the community.
"Some of these youths spat in the face of a worker's mother-in-law at the Spar supermarket.
"A couple of weeks ago, there was a fire in dunes caused by cans of petrol and paint.
"It is believed this was caused by the products they were sniffing which caught alight.
"They are urinating outside Broadbeach Kindy and swearing while there are children in the centre.
"They are yelling obscenities at people competing at the Broadbeach Bowls Club which is home to many local, national and international competitions.
"There are syringes on the beach and in the park. There is litter and graffiti everywhere.
"These youths are constantly thieving from the Spar supermarket and threatening staff that they will be back."
Mr Langbroek called on the state government to use similar initiatives to clean up crime as were employed during last year's Commonwealth Games.
Sports Minister Mick de Brenni, whose Springwood electorate is in Logan, said it was a sweeping statement to blame the crime wave on Logan youth.
"It's a bit of a sweeping statement and given the number of Olympians that have come from Logan, it's a bit hypocritical."