Boy critical after feral  brawl
Evidence: Police collect a bloody shirt at Burswood. Picture: Megan Powell/The West Australian

An early morning brawl that left a teenager in a coma and which reportedly involved children as young as seven was another example of parents who "don't know and don't care" where their kids were, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said yesterday. .

Mr O'Callaghan said the incident at Burswood was more evidence of children who were too young to be out unsupervised getting into trouble.

Police also said they took four children, aged 4 to 15, from a home in the South West after finding it filthy and littered with drugs and pornography.

Mr O'Callaghan's comments come after his article in _The Weekend West, _in which he called for more children to be taken from neglectful parents to curb spiralling juvenile crime.

Police are reviewing security vision from Great Eastern Highway after a 15-year-old was found unconscious with serious head injuries yesterday morning. He remains in a critical but stable condition this morning.

Kensington Det-Sgt Craig Gibson believed the boy, who was in a critical condition last night in Royal Perth Hospital, was punched in a brawl that started near JCS Motorcycles about 6.30am and spread across the road to Maple Street.

Maple Street resident Manali, who did not want her surname used, heard "growling" and foul language and saw boys and girls "slapping each other".

The mother of two, who moved to Perth a year ago, said she lived in fear of the juveniles who appeared to rule the streets around Burswood train station.

"So many things happen here every weekend," she said. "We live scared. Usually I do not come out (when I hear the kids)."

Nick, who has lived on Maple Street for seven years, said the mass brawl was "standard".

He often saw young children roam the streets, searching for unlocked cars and houses.

Last week he phoned police after teenagers started a fire in broad daylight metres from where the injured boy was found.

"They're fearless these kids," Nick said. "They're not afraid because there is no real result if they get caught."

Mr O'Callaghan said there was almost an epidemic of young children, many of primary school age, who were simply "feral".

"If your primary school-aged kids are out on the streets in the early hours of a Sunday morning, we have to ask the question whether they should be left in the care they're in," he said.

Police handed four children to child protection authorities at the weekend amid concerns for their welfare after searching a South West home for drugs.

The raid on Friday allegedly uncovered a big amount of cannabis, drug paraphernalia, pornography and sex toys strewn through "squalor" in the house.

The Department for Child Protection said more children were taken into care each year, with 4126 children and youths in State care at January 31.


The West Australian

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