The aggravated robbery of an 84-year-old Tennant Creek woman in broad daylight has raised the anger of locals who are sick and tired of the constant fear and damage a “gang of youths’ are causing in town.
About 5pm on Sunday, five youths entered the elderly woman’s home at the Pensioner Flats on Haddock Street.
One of the youths restrained her while the rest rummaged through her belongings before fleeing the scene.
The victim suffered minor injuries including bruises and scratches.
A 15-year-old girl and two 16-year-old girls were charged with aggravated robbery and two 11-year-old males were to be summonsed at a later date.
The Tennant Times spoke to the victim, who wished to remain anonymous.
“They’re bloody school kids who are out of control,” she said.
“I forgot I left the back door open and I never saw them come in. They grabbed me around the arms and put them behind my back.
“They took smokes on the table and a girl had my wallet, which only had a couple of dollars in there but all my keycards were in there.”
The victim says the unruly youths are picking on everyone in town.
“If they can get away with it, they will keep terrorising everybody,” she said.
A local resident who works in town says something must be done to protect Tennant Creek’s most vulnerable.
“If they can attack a frail old woman, who is next?” she asked.
“It is just horrifying – this is not the town I grew up in.
“Parents need to start taking responsibility for their children they are taking the money for these kids.
“I know in one case where one young offender is just 15 and has two children already.
“What will our next generation be like – we were brought up to respect our elders but these children have no respect for anyone or anything and nobody is doing anything about it.
“We need to start thinking of a town-wide curfew.
“I know they say it never works, but it can in some cases if it is enforced. But it can’t be enforced if we don’t have enough police and services on the ground. I also believe the Barkly Regional Deal has failed us – all that has been promised just hasn’t been done.
“Some of these kids are already on juvenile diversion programs but they keep on offending.
“They are even harassing people at the bank and now there are security guards there.
“The kids wait behind people and ask them where they live and threaten to bash them.
“I’m just waiting for something worse to happen and someone gets hurt.”
This article appeared in Tennant & District Times, 2 September 2022.