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‘Crisis point’ in St Kilda: More than 600 residents and traders demand 24-hour security on streets

3aw drive

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St Kilda traders and residents have banded together to demand 24-hour security on the suburb’s streets as violence and drug use surge in the area.

More than 600 people have signed a petition calling for two security guards to be stationed on Fitzroy, Acland and Carlisle streets, and a new homelessness policy for the area.

Katherine Wilson, owner of Off The Rails cafe on St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street said violence in the area is escalating.

“It’s come to crisis point,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“It’s a daily battle to have a business there, and it’s a daily battle for residents to have to walk through this minefield of people with needles in their arms berating you, throwing things at you.

“Council needs to recognise that there is an issue.”

Ms Wilson said she has lost customers due to run-ins with violent drug-affected people.

“They’ve gone behind my counter and grabbed a knife,” she said.

“We’ve had to lock customers inside the shop.”

The cafe owner said police in St Kilda are under-resourced, and the area is in desperate need of a stronger security presence.

“We wait for hour for a police response. The police currently, in St Kilda, do not have the manpower,” she said.

“I have been called by station supervisors who said ‘sorry you just got attacked, but we don’t have a car to send.”

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