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Incident at Belconnen Mall

johnboy 12 May 2013 46

This in from ACT Policing:

— ACT Policing is responding to an incident at Westfield Belconnen where a man has been injured.
— Police received the report about 3.05pm that a man had fallen from the 3rd floor.
— Police are not treating the incident as suspicious.
— The man has been conveyed to The Canberra Hospital in a serious condition.
— No further information will be provided.


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Incident at Belconnen Mall
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riotrossco 11:39 pm 09 Jun 13

I’M still at a loss to read any official notification that this was in fact a suicide, yet everyone is saying its suicide.

    johnboy 8:28 am 10 Jun 13

    There’s never an official statement.

    It’s a very dangerous grey area IMHO

astrojax 1:50 pm 16 May 13

Dilandach said :

with the express desire that people witness it.

well, no, that’s the point – we don’t and can’t know his ‘express desire’ and as tetra and i were trying tompoint out, you don’t seem to have a deep understanding of depression / bipolar disoorder as such matters are very likely far from the poor chap’s mental processes… but perhaps we cn just agree to disagree on this and leave it alone..?

Dilandach 1:15 pm 16 May 13

astrojax said :

^ well, basically, this. as tetra notes, there is no ‘obviously’ about this – i’d urge you to acquire an understanding of what depression and bipolar is before making ill-judged statements on a public forum.

Bringing up things to garner an emotional response and sympathy does nothing. Fact remains, it was done with witnesses and small children around. I don’t think he should have flapped off and done it out of the way, he shouldn’t have done it at all. It would be my preference and the preference I’m sure of many others that he had got help.

Again you or I don’t know the circumstances that led to wanting to do it in such a public fashion. He could have been a great guy pushed the the edge, could have had mental issues, could have been drugged to the eyeballs or could have been a horrible person escaping punishment for crimes committed. Whoever he was or whatever he did, it doesn’t change the fact that he did what he did in public with the express desire that people witness it.

Terrible yes but in such a place where the general public is and can be traumatised it nullifies any sympathy that may be had from someone doing such a thing.

astrojax 12:16 pm 16 May 13

Tetranitrate said :

Dilandach said :

astrojax said :

i rather think that traumatising others is the primary motivation. – i meant ‘isn’t’, of course…

It was obviously at the very least a partial motivation. A place was picked along with a time/opportunity created when there would be a reasonable amount of people there. As I said, there was a decision to do it then and there.

If the guy had done it in an area that was not in the view of the general public or in the privacy of his own home, I’d absolutely have sympathy for him and hoped he would get the help required. Instead a selfish decision was undertaken which caused distress not only to his family members but for the general public and employees of the general area including the children’s playground nearby.

So basically, you’d be happy if he just f*cked off and offed himself quietly out of sight and out of mind?

Trying to judge an action that’s almost by definition irrational as though it’s a rational, well thought out and well considered choice made under optimal conditions is ridiculous.

^ well, basically, this. as tetra notes, there is no ‘obviously’ about this – i’d urge you to acquire an understanding of what depression and bipolar is before making ill-judged statements on a public forum.

Tetranitrate 5:47 pm 14 May 13

c_c™ said :

Tetranitrate said :

-it’s a bit of a suicide ‘spot’ right there. Same deal as ‘the gap’ up in Sydney, albeit the numbers are far fewer.

It just occurred to me. There’s a very large external balcony at Westfield, top floor, facing out over Benjamin Way. The windows of the shops on the balcony are all painted up. Why there’s even access to it still I don’t know.

But I noted when I saw it years back that the original concrete balustrade (which is about the height of a typical balustrade in a public building) has been augmented by steel barriers on top, bringing it up to shoulder height.

After reading this, thinking perhaps there was a sad reason they added those barriers that balcony.

Yeah I know the area you’re talking about. It’s bloody dreary out there – there being a walkway there makes sense for the second floor as it was the route to the old bus interchange (‘streets in the sky’ and all that), I can only imagine that the 3rd floor one is there simply as a consequence of sheltering the 2nd floor one from rain. There are also a couple of external stairways in the carpark – but it doesn’t really serve any purpose whatsoever now.

c_c™ 5:03 pm 14 May 13

Tetranitrate said :

-it’s a bit of a suicide ‘spot’ right there. Same deal as ‘the gap’ up in Sydney, albeit the numbers are far fewer.

It just occurred to me. There’s a very large external balcony at Westfield, top floor, facing out over Benjamin Way. The windows of the shops on the balcony are all painted up. Why there’s even access to it still I don’t know.

But I noted when I saw it years back that the original concrete balustrade (which is about the height of a typical balustrade in a public building) has been augmented by steel barriers on top, bringing it up to shoulder height.

After reading this, thinking perhaps there was a sad reason they added those barriers that balcony.

eily 3:50 pm 14 May 13

There but for the grace of God…

Tetranitrate 3:36 pm 14 May 13

DUB said :

Those who resort to any (in this case-public) suicide are weak. There is a way to resolve problems without taking your life.
Think of how much stress and inconvenience you are causing to your loved ones AND to general public. But, if you still want to do it- have the guts to kill yourselves away from the eyes of the public: hang deep in a forest, slash your wrists in a water near a beach frequented by sharks, late at night…
call lifeline.

Wow. just wow.

Tetranitrate 3:35 pm 14 May 13

Dilandach said :

astrojax said :

i rather think that traumatising others is the primary motivation. – i meant ‘isn’t’, of course…

It was obviously at the very least a partial motivation. A place was picked along with a time/opportunity created when there would be a reasonable amount of people there. As I said, there was a decision to do it then and there.

If the guy had done it in an area that was not in the view of the general public or in the privacy of his own home, I’d absolutely have sympathy for him and hoped he would get the help required. Instead a selfish decision was undertaken which caused distress not only to his family members but for the general public and employees of the general area including the children’s playground nearby.

So basically, you’d be happy if he just f*cked off and offed himself quietly out of sight and out of mind?

Other possible motivations include:
-it’s a bit of a suicide ‘spot’ right there. Same deal as ‘the gap’ up in Sydney, albeit the numbers are far fewer.
-it’d be very easy for a more spontaneous suicide attempt (ala the woman back in 2004), as the barrier is very, very low. I don’t feel comfortable walking close to it at all, and I’m not very tall. There aren’t all that many other places where people might commonly go in their everyday lives that lend themselves quite so well to a non-premeditated attempt. I mean I could jump that barrier without using my hands at all, it’s that low.
-I dare say someone already suffering so much that they’re considering taking their own life probably isn’t considering their impact of their actions on others full stop.
Trying to judge an action that’s almost by definition irrational as though it’s a rational, well thought out and well considered choice made under optimal conditions is ridiculous.

Dilandach 2:44 pm 14 May 13

astrojax said :

i rather think that traumatising others is the primary motivation. – i meant ‘isn’t’, of course…

It was obviously at the very least a partial motivation. A place was picked along with a time/opportunity created when there would be a reasonable amount of people there. As I said, there was a decision to do it then and there.

If the guy had done it in an area that was not in the view of the general public or in the privacy of his own home, I’d absolutely have sympathy for him and hoped he would get the help required. Instead a selfish decision was undertaken which caused distress not only to his family members but for the general public and employees of the general area including the children’s playground nearby.

astrojax 2:10 pm 14 May 13

i rather think that traumatising others is the primary motivation. – i meant ‘isn’t’, of course…

astrojax 12:56 pm 14 May 13

Dilandach said :

PBO said :

What…… Westfield’s didn’t think too well. They put the children’s playground right next to the drop zone.

The jumpers are the ones primarily to blame and they’re completely selfish. There’s plenty of high ledges in canberra that they could jump from without families or young children having to witness nor be thwarted by medical attention.

None of that was done which means it was a conscience decision to do it in front of people. Doing it to traumatise people gets no sympathy from me.

i rather think that traumatising others is the primary motivation. i’m afraid i find this a more crass comment than the [attempts at] humour earlier in the thread. unfortunately, this is also a broadly held perception and i encourage all to have a peruse of some mental health support sites to get their own heads across what utter turmoil might be going on in the heads of those who resort to these means… beyond blue & black dog come to mind…

thanks poetix, you beat me to posting the lifeline no.

DUB 12:40 pm 14 May 13

Those who resort to any (in this case-public) suicide are weak. There is a way to resolve problems without taking your life.
Think of how much stress and inconvenience you are causing to your loved ones AND to general public. But, if you still want to do it- have the guts to kill yourselves away from the eyes of the public: hang deep in a forest, slash your wrists in a water near a beach frequented by sharks, late at night…
call lifeline.

Mothy 10:57 am 14 May 13

As someone who takes their 2 year old to the ground floor playground, I’m sorry to say my first thought was “how quickly could I usher my kid out of the area so they wouldn’t have to see that?”

I feel for any parents who had to explain that to their kids.

Likewise I feel for the friends and family of the jumper – having never had it happen to anyone in my immediate circle, I can only imagine how deflated, disappointed and helpless having someone close to me do this would make me feel.

Lifeline: 131 114

PBO 10:17 am 14 May 13

Tooks said :

Suicide’s funny, hey?

No, It is a weak and selfish option.

Dilandach said :

PBO said :

What…… Westfield’s didn’t think too well. They put the children’s playground right next to the drop zone.

The jumpers are the ones primarily to blame and they’re completely selfish. There’s plenty of high ledges in canberra that they could jump from without families or young children having to witness nor be thwarted by medical attention.

None of that was done which means it was a conscience decision to do it in front of people. Doing it to traumatise people gets no sympathy from me.

Jokes aside, I wholeheartedly agree.

Dilandach 8:49 am 14 May 13

PBO said :

What…… Westfield’s didn’t think too well. They put the children’s playground right next to the drop zone.

The jumpers are the ones primarily to blame and they’re completely selfish. There’s plenty of high ledges in canberra that they could jump from without families or young children having to witness nor be thwarted by medical attention.

None of that was done which means it was a conscience decision to do it in front of people. Doing it to traumatise people gets no sympathy from me.

Tooks 8:43 am 14 May 13

Suicide’s funny, hey?

dazzab 10:15 pm 13 May 13

I’ve always wondered about those railings and glass panels. They may meet safety standards but I don’t see how. They only come up to about my waist and I’m not a tall person. I think it would be quite easy for someone to be accidentally pushed over them. You would think that considering the number of people who have been hurt there that raising the height of the barriers would make sense.

Postalgeek 9:32 pm 13 May 13

c_c™ said :

SupaSal said :

Westfield said they would fix it then – 9 years later NOTHING!

What exactly do you mean fix it? Put fences and nets everywhere so someone doesn’t top them self? I’m assuming if nothing has changed since then, that the barrier meets standards. You can’t cotton wool the world.

This could be suicide, or it could be something like that groom in Sydney recently who was skylarking on a railing and fell two storeys. Either way, shouldn’t have to sterilise the whole world for 99% of people on the basis 1% will do something bad.

I’m not one for cotton wool, but in this case it’s as much protecting those underneath as it is for the jumpers.

If it’s a hotspot and there is a concentration of pedestrian traffic below, then yes, measures should be taken.

You can’t sterilise the 99% of locations where unpredictable suicides occur, and you can’t stop someone from topping themselves, but you can look at addressing the more popular locations to reduce both intentional and unintentional injury or death.

CoffinRX2 6:35 pm 13 May 13

I was in a store about 10m from the incident when it happened, …. thankfully for me I was facing the other way. …. Didnt really hear anything until Centre Management put a call out for all security to attend the scene.

We saw this person on the ground 10m behind me already seeming to be assessed by bystanders/witnesses for their injuries.

Had no idea of the seriousness of how it happened until I just read this

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