Ramsey Ave residents taking matters into own hands

ON LOOKOUT: Ramsey Ave resident Brad Shannon is keeping an eye out for bad behavior along his street.

Elsie Adamo

VIGILANTISM is being considered to help curb illegal behaviour on Ramsey Ave, according to a local resident.

The avenue has been subject to vandalism, along with residents saying they regularly observe speeding cars along the road well over the legal limit.

Brad Shannon has lived on Ramsey Ave for the last 12 years and said he, along with other residents, have had enough of inaction.

“Last Saturday someone vandalized trees along the road, it caused a lot of damage – they are half the size they were,” Mr Shannon said.

“We are just fed up with it.”

Mr Shannon said that residents regularly clean off the graffiti along the street themselves, and are considering what they could personally do to help solve the issue.

“We are happy to sit out here ourselves and when this guy comes back, grab him by the scruff of the neck and haul him down to the police station,” he said.

“But we should not have to do that.

“There is also have a real problem with speeding motorists.

“We have speeding through here, particularly at peak hour in the afternoon.”

Akuna Kindergarten is on Ramsey Ave, with signage limiting speeds to 25km/h when children are present.

Limestone Coast Superintendent Campbell Hill said vigilantism was never advised, and that the community should contact police if observing a crime.

“We are not advocating for anyone to intervene with these people,” Supt Hill said.

“The reality is if people are going to be behaving in this manner there is no guarantee for what their mindset it, or whether there is drugs or alcohol involved.

“We do not want people putting themselves at risk.

“If people are seeing things happening in real time calling 131 444 is the best option.

“There is always effectively an idiot somewhere, and that is largely what this sort of behaviour is.”

Supt Hill said that often these crimes are solved from tips, and if the community is aware of any type of illegal behaviour, they should be calling Crime Stoppers.

“People can call that number and pass on information for anything they like,” he said.

“If they are aware of property damage, or people doing burnouts, habitual drink drivers, it can be anything.”

Council has been aware of the speeding problem for almost two decades, with plans in 1994 produced to curb the problem with slow points, chicanes or street changes, but never implemented, according to Mr Shannon.

One slow point was installed in the last year, but Mr Shannon said he believes that not enough has been done to deter speeders.

General manager of city infrastructure at the Mount Gambier Council, Barbara Cernovskis, said that traffic counts and movement statistics were collected and used to inform their actions.

“There is an existing 25km/h area around the childcare centre that was not being adhered to, and trucks have been accessing and using that road as a shortcut,” Ms Cernovskis said.

“Putting the slow point in, that has actually then remedied that problem.”

Ms Cernovskis said that Ramsey Ave included a mix of industrial, business and residential use which made management complicated.

“It comes down to a number of things, there is no one answer,” she said.

“We can keep putting in slow points and adding bits and pieces, but we need to do it based on evidence.

“Is there an engineered solution that does not just push it elsewhere? Because it is a behavioural problem.

“When you have multiple users, with different uses in an area, it just becomes a little complex.

“A simple solution is not necessarily the best solution, it is just shifting a problem to somewhere else.”

Ms Cernovskis said that council was looking into adding a driveway to the Akuna Kindergarten.

“We will be doing some design work and costing to be able to improve the carpark, and give that two access points,” she said.

“That will improve safety there.

“None of this will happen tomorrow, but we need to plan and move towards those things.”