Canowindra High School is relaunching its “Back Off Bully” program on Friday the 21st of March, and it couldn’t come at a more relevant time for three of our residents who are under constant abuse in their flats behind Gaskill Street.
Gurbreet Singh and his wife Gurbrinder, and their neighbour Pip Thompson, say that for months now they’ve been targets of abuse and bullying by a heroin addicted amputee who lives in their complex, and that there’s been no real police action except a “family conference” despite constant complaints – 17 calls in seven months by one particular resident.
It’s been a nightmare for Gurbreet and Gurbrinder, from the Punjab in North India, who settled in Canowindra six years ago. They’re a dignified community-minded couple who’ve grown to love “the very nice people in Canowindra – much better than in any city.”
Gurbreet works the night shift at the Manildra flour mill, plays cricket for Canowindra and Cowra, and his wife is currently studying child care.
Their neighbour’s harrassment has shocked them – almost daily outbursts of abuse and foul language against them and their Indian friends including “We don’t want you f***ing Indians here,” and “Get in your flat and stay there.”
Recently Gurbreet found his company uniform splashed with bleach and almost ruined on the clothes line in apparent retaliation for complaints to the police.
Pip Thompson, who manages the antique store on Gaskill Street, says she’s also complained about constant drug use in an adjacent flat, with marijuana fumes “so thick that they invade my place and are making me sick.”
She says it reflects “an undercurrent of drugs, alcohol abuse and domestic violence that exists in Canowindra.”
Gurbreet Singh and his wife are now applying for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against their abuser.
By Derek Maitland