Riff raff in the heart of Richmond

Hang out: The area surrounding Richmond Railway station is being overrun by young louts according to several petitioners to the Gazette.

Hang out: The area surrounding Richmond Railway station is being overrun by young louts according to several petitioners to the Gazette.

Louts, yahoos, hoons, ratbags, riff raff … regardless of the name its generally a descriptor for trouble.

And according to increasing representations from the community to the Gazette office that trouble is starting to leave a stain on the Richmond CBD.

In recent weeks we’ve had numerous requests to investigate the “problem” of youths hanging around the city centre, the railway station in particular, intimidating folk and generally causing trouble.

A shopkeeper near the Gazette office also complained of her car being “keyed” in the car park while she worked.

Gazette editor Matt Lawrence was recently approached by several early teens for a cigarette to be used as “spinner” – a term used by drug users, who add a cigarette to their marijuana to pad out their stash.

Below is a letter from a concerned mother, who asked to remain anonymous.

We discuss the issue as part of this week’s podcast.

I have a young daughter that has just started year 7. She has just started catching the bus to and from school.

As a focused and concerned parent for the first 2 weeks of school, I have been waiting at Richmond to make sure she's okay to swap buses and knows which one to catch.

As I have been waiting I have witnessed so many youths, some look as young as 10 hanging around the train station and McDonalds, causing issues with locals and other young youths.

These youths are obvouisly not attending school. Where is the responsibility of their parents. I'm sure they would be receiving government payments for these children. 

Last week I was parked in McDonald's and about four of them just hanging around. One swinging his scooter around in the air. I thought at one stage he was going to hit my car. Two staff members in McDonald's had to try and move him on but without success. There were two police officers as well, but they seem to do nothing. 

So I decided to move my car to the Main Street in Richmond opposite the Tobacco shop. Where I witnessed one of these youths trying to buy cigarettes and looks like he was denied and walked out empty handed. Twenty minutes later he had an older youth go back and purchase these for him.

Later I watched the train pull in and workers coming off the train.

Most scanning their train cards and others just walking off without paying.

Where are the train guards? This is my taxes paying for these people.

The ones just walking off greated the youths hanging around with a big high five.

Again the police car sitting opposite the train station but no where to be seen.

Some of these kids seem to be high on something.

I just feel our little Richmond is been taken over by riff raff that use the train line to go back and forwards to cause issues. Where are the police and what are they doing to make people like myself feel safe. 

More police presence needs to be seen and move these kids on.

Get the railway to do checks and make sure everyone is paying there way. This will stop these youths from train surfing.

Hold the schools and parents accountable that these kids attend school.

I'm sure if you look at the cause of these kids issues it come back to learning issues and parents not caring. 

Something needs to be done!

Have your say on the matter. Either add your comments to this post or email: mlawrence@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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