By BEN CAMERON
A PAKENHAM businessman has called on police to take action against out-of-control late night hoons in an industrial area in Bate Close.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said there had been a noticeable increase in recent weeks with as many as 150 cars coming together to engage in wild behaviour.
“They’ve smashed up the joint,” he said.
“They’ve damaged fences, letterboxes, the nature strips, smashed up garbage bins, doing burn outs.
“They also broke into a milk bar and stole things.
“I’ve seen between 120 and 150 cars some nights. And some cars have four to five people in them.
“They’re mostly P-platers with a few older blokes.
“I’ve called the police but they’ve basically said they can’t catch them, they’re too big and powerful. The cops are scared.”
He called on Cardinia Shire Council to install security cameras.
“Some businesses have installed cameras,” he said.
“So they don’t come past a certain point so, clearly, they know where the cameras are.
“If certain areas are deemed hoon hot spots council can access funding to install cameras.”
He said a designated area for hoons would solve the problem and suggested the development of a site on McGregor Road which is currently used by two auto clubs.
Pakenham police Sergeant Ray de Ruse said officers would be ramping up their efforts but disputed the numbers of hoons involved.
“We will be stepping up our response,” he said.
“We are aware of it.
“It was first brought to our attention six to eight months ago and things had quietened down.
“Our highway patrol will be visiting the area during problem times.
“We believe there’s a roving group of hoons across the south-eastern suburbs.”
A Cardinia Shire Council spokesperson said it was strictly a police issue at this stage.
She said no decision had been made on the future home of the Pakenham Auto Club and Koo Wee Rup District Motorcycle Club.
“The site on McGregor Road was purchased by council several years ago with a condition that it was to be used for recreational activities,” she said.
“The Pakenham Auto Club currently use part of the site for their activities and the Koo Wee Rip and District Motorcycle Club also use a separate part of the site and can continue to do so.
“The development area of the site has been substantially reduced due to road, drainage, environment and powerline reservations.
“Council is working with both clubs to find a permanent home.”