Thugs cause party mayhem
Children from Hopman Rise in Clarkson show some of the weapons they found after the brawl. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Several partygoers had to be treated in hospital after being bashed by violent gatecrashers in Clarkson at the weekend as Police Minister Rob Johnson revealed that plans to deal with uninvited thugs and irresponsible hosts were before State Cabinet.

As Hopman Rise residents cleared up shattered glass, pieces of bricks and wooden poles yesterday, the apologetic party hosts said armed thugs had arrived in the street intent on violence.

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he watched terrified from his window as one man jumped on the bonnet of a parked utility and smashed the windscreen with a wooden pole.

Residents locked themselves in their houses and called police as about 40 gatecrashers began throwing missiles at cars and at the party house.

While many revellers stayed inside, some went to remonstrate with the mob and brawls then broke out. One of the party hosts, a 24-year-old, needed several stitches after he was knocked unconscious by a brick thrown into the back of his head.

Another friend had surgery for facial injuries after he was hit with a brick then stomped on as he lay on the ground, while another had a broken arm.

"It was really scary, the noise was like a rocket going off with the banging and the crashing," one resident said. "I get really angry that there is no fallout for the people who do this - it's not good enough.

"A lot of innocent people get hurt physically, financially and emotionally."

The fighting is believed to have continued at Joondalup Hospital, where both party guests and gatecrashers were being treated.

One of the party hosts said he did not know who the gatecrashers were or why they came. He said he would not have another party.

Shadow police minister Michelle Roberts said the policing response to wild parties had not been strong enough.

"This has been going on for about two years and initially police were not charging people and taking a hardline approach and quite clearly a hardline approach does need to be taken," she said.

Ms Roberts said there were also concerns that police did not respond quickly enough in cases where parties had been registered with police.

Mr Johnson would not reveal details of his proposal yesterday because it was before State Cabinet but he said the proposed laws would be a priority because the community was fed up with the havoc caused by drunken louts.

"I have put a lot of thought and effort into developing a comprehensive package to deal with this kind of behaviour," he said.

The West Australian

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