Siege and fire at housing trust complex as police respond 22 times in 35 days

Sunday 28 January, 2024

The Opposition is concerned Peter Malinauskas has gone soft on public housing tenants who do the wrong thing, with one Hectorville complex alone accumulating 22 police reports in just 35 days.

Of the most serious incidents to take place at the complex, a fire and siege occurred on Saturday 9 December forcing police to smash through a door to detain a resident.

Between 1 December 2023 and 4 January this year, there were 22 reports of crimes including assault, domestic violence, serious criminal trespass and theft.

The former Liberal Government introduced tough new rules for housing trust tenants who engage in anti-social behaviour, including reducing the number of warnings from around seven to three before seeking eviction.

However, last year it was revealed anti-social behaviour at Housing SA properties has skyrocketed under the Malinauskas Labor Government – with a 25 per cent jump in housing trust complaints over the past financial year and more than 130 complaints a week on average.

Shadow Minister for Social and Community Housing, Michelle Lensink, said the Malinauskas Labor Government must move troublemakers on quickly.

“I know of families desperate to receive that phone call to say there is a housing trust home ready for them – and some of these South Australians have been waiting years already,” Ms Lensink said.

“Peter Malinauskas and Nat Cook must come down hard on troublemakers and disruptive tenants because serious acts of violence cannot be tolerated at housing trust complexes.

“Those who commit violent crimes and property damage need to be moved on quickly so neighbours can feel safe and the property is made available for a family in urgent need of a home.

“We must remember that many housing trust complexes are already occupied by families with small children and it’s upsetting and dangerous that young people are being exposed to violent behaviour.

“Children would be terrified to witness police smashing down a door during a siege and it’s unacceptable that people who do the right have to watch this.”

Member for Hartley, Vincent Tarzia, said the huge number of police reports is a symptom of South Australia’s escalating crime crisis.

“These figures are shocking – 22 police reports in just 35 days and we are talking serious crimes including a siege, assault and domestic violence,” Mr Tarzia said.

“I’ve have received many complaints about the complex and there are residents who live in the area who are genuinely scared to walk past.

“That’s because crime and fights occurring inside the complex are spilling out into the street and that is unacceptable.

“Peter Malinauskas and Nat Cook must address this issue urgently.”