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Where vigilantes roam the streets

By WillowJim 5 January 2010 57

[Ed] – We’ve had 3 stories submitted about the Canberra Guardian Angels. Damien Heffernan first wrote to RiotACT back in March 2009 asking for volunteers.

When I first read that the Guardian Angels had set up a chapter in Canberra, I dismissed the story as a beat-up: one sole whiner who likes the thought of wearing berets does not comprise a vigilante force.

But the New York-based organisation seems to be genuinely behind this push; it lists Canberra as its only Australian chapter.

Canberra? The only city in Australia in need of the Guardian Angels? I agree with Simon Corbell on this one: we don’t need it. The only time I’ve ever felt unsafe here is when I’m on the road near some Cro-Magnon who is about to explode because the traffic is only travelling 10km/h above the limit. I’ve never felt threatened in Civic, even in the wee hours.

But judging by talkback yesterday and the letters to the editor in the paper today, many disagree with me. So would the red berets be of any use in Canberra? Or would they just attract/cause trouble?

Other submissions below

From PBO

VIGILANTES! Woo Hoo
I was having a read of our great local rag when i came upon an article that made me giggle. We are getting “Guardian Angels”! Now it struck me as a bit over the top, being that Charnwood and Kippax are not at all like the movie “the Warriors” (70’s urban apocalypse gang flick).

I believe that the presence of these folk will only lead to games of keepings off involving red berets as opposed to making the streets safer.

Has anyone heard anymore than what has been reported?

From Moneypenny2612

The Goon Squad comes to town
Recently the Canberra Times carried an interesting story touting “vigilantism” with the Guardian Angels establishing a presence in the ACT.

Who are the Guardian Angels? Apparently they walked the mean streets of New York City and fought crime where police feared to tread. In the ACT, it looks like they’ve been putting it appearances at neighbourhood association meetings (if a recent Cook chapter meeting is any indication). Have they been promoting their wears in other neigbourhoods too?

But seriously. Is Canberra really comparable to NYC (c. 1980s) when it comes to violent crime and vulnerable law abiding citizens?

Do we really need to form gangs to take the law into our own hands? Discuss.

What’s Your opinion?


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57 Responses to
Where vigilantes roam the streets
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Qu0kka 6:51 pm 14 Jan 10

Well…with my mother-in-laws car getting broken into last night, and the (likely) same filfth ramming a screwdriver or something down my motorcycle ignition, I can say that I am somewhat sympathetic to the idea of vigilantes.

I’d rather be putting more into policing…but if our politicians don’t have the bottle to spend the money, well…

Can’t say the response was overwhelming from ACT police. The operator I spoke with was very nice and listened well, but admitted that nothing could be done. For my mother-in-law, well, she got the impression that they simply couldn’t car less and felt that reporting it was a waste of time.

So – in these circumstances isn’t it quite natural for people to want to take matters to hand?

weaponx 10:53 am 14 Jan 10

Love the bagging out of these guys, I have to admit Canberra isnt very dangerous and these guys would be better placed in Sydney or Melbourne but bagging them out for trying to be proactive cmon? You are the same clowns that bag the police out for taking an hour to show on a call out. Rather have proactive citizens and a less then effective police force then just the po po.

sunshine 12:29 pm 10 Jan 10

i know what we need! DOG the Bounty Hunter and his family..lol they’d clean up the wild canberran streets for sure.

Bekka 7:48 pm 09 Jan 10

I agree with what you have said SIGMA.
I can understand your frustration.
Not sure or not weather this is the solution to the problem but something has to be done down here in the Southside.
I cannot believe the confidence in some of the youth that roam the streets near us.
They are rude disrespectful and when you try and say something like Everyone else suggested Sigma do we had a group of youths smashing bottles and other projectiles at our house.
Of cause by the time police arrived they were gone and who had to pay the bill NOT THEM.
I think the ones that need to wake up are the PARENTS where are you?
Get off your bums because the problem seems to hard for you to fix and do SOMETHING about your teenage shit heads that are making other people’s lives a living nightmare.
Remember this if you are a law abiding citizen why should you have anything to worry about.
They’re not going to impact your lives only those that break the law.
Sad we have to put others out there to do the job of some lazy parents but i say
BRING IT ON

Aeek 12:01 am 08 Jan 10

I wonder if the training in South Africa contravenes the terrorism laws + 8 members, that’s

Mordd 7:19 pm 07 Jan 10

sunshine said :

canberra quiet! obviously don’t know the real canberra.

Well at Woden interchange I get a bunch of 14yr olds trying to “hold me up” armed with little more than their attitudes – vs – a lot of places I could think of in Sydney same situation except they are all armed with knives, basevall bats, chains, etc… and they’re a lot tougher than the 14yr old punks I come across around canberra late at night or even during the day. Canberrans like to think Canberra is somewhat hardcore but its really not, its more like the emo equivelant of hardcore really.

andy pandy 5:26 pm 07 Jan 10

@ #40 raw hide I believe that they discovered watching movies like Action Jackson and the various Steven Segal ones was more exciting than trying to live the dream.

Danman 12:09 pm 07 Jan 10

How quaint, Canberras own little tribe of S1W’s
Love the red beret look by the way.

PM 11:35 am 07 Jan 10

I would suggest something like this would be more productive…

http://the-riotact.com/?p=13569

PBO 11:13 am 07 Jan 10

Sigma said :

You people need to get your heads out your arses get out of your house after dark. Roaming groups of gangs on the Southside, three cars stolen in my street in two years numerous break and enters.

IF THE PISS ANT LITTLE WANKERS THAT ROAM AROUND LOOKING FOR TROUBLE KNOW THAT THEY ARE PEOPLE WATCHING THEM THEY WONT STEEL OR WRECK MY STUFF.

WAKE UP PEOPLE ):

So I take it that you have not roamed the streets yourself and taken any initiative to stop local crime? Waiting for someone to put on a beret and do it for you? Seriously though, we should not need to have such a thing purely because not looking out for your neighbour is Un-Australian.

dr phil said :

And will it mean that 3 RAR will be upset that someone else will be wearing a red beret?

No. they wear a cherry beret, Military Police wear the red one, so i think that the Guardian Angels think that people will take them more seriously.

If you read some of the articles that are one some of their websites, you can find many examples of the Guardian Angels infringing on peoples civil liberties. One example was that they stopped a person on the street and said raise your arms, you’re getting a pat down. Now if some random in a dodgy shirt tried to do that to me I would laugh in their face as they have no power whatsoever to enforce such a thing.

Also, is there not a law regarding local militias in Canberra? They certainly have a lot of paramilitary aspects about them.

I hope they will be wearing asbestos pants to protect themselves when the go after Todd Carney

Jim Jones 10:57 am 07 Jan 10

Sigma said :

You people need to get your heads out your arses get out of your house after dark. Roaming groups of gangs on the Southside, three cars stolen in my street in two years numerous break and enters.

IF THE PISS ANT LITTLE WANKERS THAT ROAM AROUND LOOKING FOR TROUBLE KNOW THAT THEY ARE PEOPLE WATCHING THEM THEY WONT STEEL OR WRECK MY STUFF.

WAKE UP PEOPLE ):

Angry person on internet makes empty threat of vigilante justice … news at 11

knuckles 10:41 am 07 Jan 10

Somewhere_between said
“I remember reading somewhere that the ACT had the highest rate of juvenile crime in Australia.”

Must be true if you read it somewhere!

ROOSTERFAN 10:34 am 07 Jan 10

if ppl want to get our and try to help our community rather than sit there winging doing nothing about it then I say good on them!! Ppl are so quick to judge other ppl and what they do with their life around here when they should be worrying about their own. Majority of crime that happens is never heard about it so nobody really knows how much crime canberra has and if these Gaurdian Angels stop the slightest bit of crime in our community then im more than happy to have them here!!

peterh 10:32 am 07 Jan 10

Sigma said :

You people need to get your heads out your arses get out of your house after dark. Roaming groups of gangs on the Southside, three cars stolen in my street in two years numerous break and enters.

IF THE PISS ANT LITTLE WANKERS THAT ROAM AROUND LOOKING FOR TROUBLE KNOW THAT THEY ARE PEOPLE WATCHING THEM THEY WONT STEEL OR WRECK MY STUFF.

WAKE UP PEOPLE ):

so why don’t you get a petition together to get more funding for the coppers, and more coppers in the community? vigilantes create problems. and I don’t want a bunch of blokes who think they are quasi coppers, and above the law…

fgzk 10:07 am 07 Jan 10

Sigma “IF THE PISS ANT LITTLE WANKERS THAT ROAM AROUND LOOKING FOR TROUBLE KNOW THAT THEY ARE PEOPLE WATCHING THEM THEY WONT STEEL OR WRECK MY STUFF.

WAKE UP PEOPLE ):”

I hate being woken with insults and bully boy tactics.

What you are saying is that you want another gang of violence trained adults, roaming the streets, to pick on the neighbourhood children. Sorry not pick on, watch the neighbourhood children. I’m awake but I still don’t see how that is actually going to foster respect of your stuff from the piss ant wankers, whoever they are. I’m pretty sure it will just reinforce that adults are not to be trusted. Your such a shinning light to our youth.

sunshine said :

youth being d/hds

Come out to Gungahlin and you’ll see those youth!! I remember reading somewhere that the ACT had the highest rate of juvenile crime in Australia.

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