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NSW Can Our Car Smashing Neighbour be Charged By Police?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by tanya, 2 January 2015.

  1. tanya

    tanya Active Member

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    Sorry, but to get my story across.. this is a bit long-winded. Please bare with me

    On Boxing day, this year, at around 6 am our neighbor smashed the windows of our car. We know it was him because my partner was awake and saw him holding a brick above his head, 30 cm away from our car. 3 windows were broken. When yelled at, he ran back home. The brick he used was still laying in our front yard. The police were called immediately and they took my partners statement. They did not even bother taking the brick or any evidence. Police then proceeded to the neighbors house for a statement.

    Now, instead of coming back to us with info about what was going on, they abruptly left. We had to chase up the officers to find out what was going on. They told us that the neighbors mother and girlfriend had vouched that he never left the house that morning. Apparently the vandal would not be charged because my partner did not see the exact moment the brick hit the glass. Sorry but if someone is standing near your car with a brick and the windows are broken, would that not be evidence enough?

    My partner and i, thinking of how we could get him to pay for what he has done.. i did not know it before, but the neighbor next to them actually had CCTV. I investigated the angle of the camera, and realized that it would show the vandal coming out of his house, and possibly catch him breaking the windows. We immediately contacted police, yet again, and told them about the CCTV. The police officer said she would "check it out". That was 1 week ago and she has not bothered to investigate or even show up. The lady that owns the CCTV is apparently friends with the vandal neighbor and his family, but i think she is more likely scared of them, as they terrorize everybody in the street. I also found out that the CCTV lady has a son in the police force (although only a highway patrol). So i don't know what to think. WE could have possible evidence he did it, but the longer the police take, the more likely it is that the evidence would be wiped.

    These neighbors have terrorized EVERYONE in the entire street (about 6-7 households) on a daily basis. They are constantly intoxicated or high. They regularly verbally abuse anyone who passes their yard. They have even chased people because they wrongly think they are pedophiles. The police know these people well, and have said they cause trouble in every house they have rented.

    The day before (Christmas Day) there was an altercation between myself and the neighbors. The vandals mother started verbally abusing me for no reason. I confronted her and found out the reason was because her daughter (usually great friends with my daughter) was jealous of a laptop my daughter received from her Nan for Christmas. Talk about pathetic. All the neighbors were witness to her harassment towards me that day. The mother of the vandal actually spat in my mothers face! They instigate every argument and then cry wolf when police are contacted.. These people have the worst reputation in town according to the police. But the police never do anything to them, it's always someone else who gets reprimanded. They have a bad reputation, the police have several reports over them stealing things from our back yard, the vandal has had several good behavior bonds placed on him for different crimes. They definitely have motive for the vandalism (because i stood up and confronted them and told them what i think). The mother has even attacked me with a samurai sword. I did not tell the police about that one, because i knew they would get away with it somehow.

    Me and my partner work, and are law abiding citizens. I have NEVER broken the law in my 38 years. They sit on their backsides collecting Centrelink, buying nothing but drugs and alcohol. I am currently putting together an eviction petition to have the neighbors kicked out. I have complete support from most residents. I have already contacted the Ombudsman regarding the police and their lack of assistance. Can I get the vandal charged using circumstantial evidence?
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @tanya
    I'm sorry to learn about your car. As you may appreciate (especially during the Christmas/New Year period), police resources are generally stretched and that may explain the lack of responsiveness that you've experienced to date.

    Most people are generally arrested and charged on circumstantial evidence recorded and/or witnessed by the police. It is then up to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP), and then a court, to review the available evidence and determine whether the evidence meets the "beyond reasonable doubt" standard to find the person guilty of the charged criminal offence/s.

    My suggestion would be to remain calm, document all incidents (and your correspondence with the police) and if an incident involves harassment, assault, etc. (like being attacked with a samurai sword), to immediately report this to your local police.

    In addition, was the car insured? If yes, have you contacted your car insurance company to discuss any available options to send a "letter of demand" (or similar document) for the repair costs to the neighbor that your husband witnessed smashing your car?

    All the best. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
  3. tanya

    tanya Active Member

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    thank you, i appreciate your reply. We have been trying to remain calm, it`s just a little hard to ignore when it`s such a constant thing. We have documented and contacted the police so many times i have lost count. When is it enough? Unfortunately, we only have compulsory 3rd party. So repairs will have to come from our pocket. I will definitely keep you updated, thanks again.
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @tanya,
    Thanks for the update. Given the situation, consider contacting the assigned police officer every few days for an update (and if you don't receive a response within the next week, ask to speak to the police station's manager).
     
  5. tanya

    tanya Active Member

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    Well, just an update. We`ve been remaining calm and contacting the police when needed. It`s gotten even worse with this neighbour. She has now blamed us for breaking the back window to her house. This is utter rubbish. She called the police because apparently she saw my partner throw one of our pavers at her window. She probably did herself, she has done things like this before.Like she blamed me for throwing a large rock through another residents window. She stole the rock from our driveway. For a while people thought I did it, until I set them straight and now they realise it was her all along.
    Now back to this present update, so she called the police, and seeing as we`re already angry from them smashing our car, the police said they could charge my partner, because they have the paver and testimony from the neighbour. That`s less evidence than what we had on him and his vandalism. I can tell you now, we did not smash their window but she has got the police convinced, because we had a motive. Anyway, police again told us not to confront them or they will press charges for the window.
    I`ve since found out, this morning, on my way to work, that the vandals mother had been there half an hour earlier, telling my bosses that we apparently smashed her window. I almost got fired today because of it. When I finished work, I immediately contacted the police and am now waiting for them to show up. Is there anything I can do other than a pvo/ moving house?
     
  6. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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  7. tanya

    tanya Active Member

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    OK, today I applied for a apvo against this woman. I must attend court on the date set and plead my case. Police had also told me to document everything she has done, and I have done so. They also told me to record her abusing us one particular night. I did that too. But now I find out from the registrar at the courthouse that those recordings probably wont be worth anything. I know the case will be held on "balance of probability" but these neighbours know every loop hole there is, they've been to court more times than I can count. Even though I am a good citizen, and have NEVER instigated any type of abuse, I have only confronted this woman when verbally abused. I am nervous about going to court because so many times they always seem to convince people that they are right and I am wrong. They are well known "pests" and disliked by the police. I don`t know what to do. I get extremely nervous when put on the spot. I know I should not be nervous as everything I will mention will be the truth. I probably never would have applied for the apvo if it were just a verbal thing . It has hit rock bottom since they started breaking car/house windows, and now my kids don`t sleep at all during the night, they lie awake watching the car and the house. Waiting for the neighbours next move. They will only think about sleeping when its daylight or if their dad or myself are awake.
     
  8. tanya

    tanya Active Member

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    oh and the registrar said that we could still make a complaint against the officers who failed to gather evidence on the car incident. But I don`t know if that would be good idea while this hearing is about to take place.
     
  9. Phildo

    Phildo Well-Known Member

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    Easy one.

    Find the owner of the house, and the relevant real estate agent.

    If you know a real estate agent socially, they can look it up easily enough for free - they will have access to real estate records on the RP Data web site.

    Otherwise, there will be a govt department that can give you the ownership records. There will be a fairly small fee for this.

    If it's a government owned house, then hassle the heck of your local MP on a weekly basis. Get the whole street to hassle him/her.

    Or, just contact the state housing department in your state and ask if it is one of their houses (Homeswest here in WA).

    Meanwhile, start collecting evidence. Audio recordings. Set up a camera system at your own house if possible. If you have an iPhone then use the VoiceMemo application to record things spontaneously when required.

    Sounds like these people are of a "non-reflective skin" nature? Sounds like they've been moved from house to house due to misconduct issues?

    It gets better... wait until friends of theirs and really start doing things (eg breaking into every car possible, looking for coins). The friends will have even less regard because they don't even live there.

    Bad news: It sounds like police are familiar with these people and have dealt with them often. Thus, police will also know that it's a waste of their time dealing with this. Forget about action from the police, and devise a strategy to get these people evicted from the house as soon as possible.
     
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