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Suburban time bomb
Anger: Sunday Chuong and friends in Mirrabooka. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

Members of Perth's growing East African community have called for intervention in dealing with refugee youth amid fears that police could become the target of an attack.

An investigation by The Weekend West has found deep concerns in Perth's East African community and a prediction that rising aggression in a section of disaffected youths towards authorities could lead to extreme violence.

A group of young men have spoken of their belief that police, who they have described as "the enemy", could be targeted.

Their prediction came as Suresh Rajan, one of the most respected multicultural voices in the State, warned of the potential for a form of homegrown terrorism against authority figures.

"We have seen this type of event in the US and Britain and there is no reason to believe that it won't happen here," Mr Rajan said

Mr Rajan, former head of the Ethnic Communities Council of WA, said children from refugee backgrounds were coming from an environment where violence was a way of life.

Torture and trauma had a resounding impact on them.

He said work needed to be done to integrate disaffected and traumatised youth, and services needed to be delivered in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways.

"Unless we work to significantly address their issues appropriately we have a time bomb that is ticking quite loudly," he said.

Over the past two weeks, The Weekend West has spoken to East African youths, parents and community members about rising anger among a group of young refugees.

A former head of the South Sudan Community Association WA, Simon Yuer Dang, said the community had lost control of a section of its youth because parents were not allowed to discipline their children the way they needed to.

"The 10 years coming will be very difficult for the Australian Government to control this generation that is already destroyed by the law," Mr Yuer Dang said.

"If this law cannot be reversed and give us a chance to control our children, then most of them will end up in jail."

His successor, Don-Don Malith, said he was not aware of anger towards the police but said the community was concerned about the number of youths in prison.

"As a community, we don't understand what leads them to imprisonment," he said.

Police spokesman Insp. Dominic Wood said police were involved in programs and forums in the community but were not "at present seeing or hearing any issues that cause us significant concern" and had positive relationships with newly arrived communities.

Officers have contacted Mr Rajan and others the newspaper has spoken to, to arrange a meeting.

Read more in today's edition of The Weekend West