Business owners are blaming increasing violence outside hostels and shops in Perth’s central business district on drug-addicted homeless people with nowhere to go.
And the violence isn’t just happening on weekends – in the latest shocking footage to emerge of a one-punch attack, a city worker was allegedly knocked to the ground at 7pm on Monday night.
The alleged victim fell backwards on a planter box, narrowly missing the sharp edge by centimetres as another person wielded a child’s stroller.
Business owner Fadli Mohd Nood told 7News he had been doing a good deed, stepping in to stop men kicking his restaurant’s chairs, when the alleged attack happened.
“Very scared, because this is not the first time,” Mr Nood said.
“Many, many times in Murray Street. Last week they hit my window.”
Local businesses fear homelessness in Perth has reached a critical level and claim it’s contributing to increase violence and harassment, even during daylight hours.
Assaults in the Perth CBD surged 23 per cent last financial year, with the state government doubling the number of police on the beat.
“It’s a challenging problem, it’s not just alcohol, it’s drugs, there’s mental health issues,” Assistant Police Commissioner Steve Brown said.
A 29-year-old man has been charged over the one-punch attack and released on bail despite having no fixed address.
“It does concern me, if someone in that circumstance is released and they don’t have accommodation to go to,” WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts said.