Vandals as young as four-years-old are believed to have repeatedly damaged a Catholic Church’s stained-glass windows in the Wheatbelt town of Corrigin, and police are powerless to act.
WA Police confirmed St Therese Catholic Church had been vandalised. Sgt. Troy Coumbe said he believed the same group of children, all of whom were aged between four and eight, were also to blame for vandalism in a public park.
But, under WA law, children under the age of 10 are not deemed criminally responsible for their actions and cannot be charged.
Sgt. Coumbe said the same group of 10 children who were responsible for damaging the playground had been seen in the church grounds over the weekend of September 18.
“Corrigin Police were made aware of damage to some windows at the St Therese Catholic Church over the weekend… Police examined the scene and it appeared the windows had been broken by small rocks that had been thrown at the church,” he said.
Corrigin resident and church-goer Neil Bowron said he and his wife Nancy discovered the broken windows. He said he only alerted the police after the third incident of vandalism and there had been two since.
“There’s not much you can do. You can’t put them in jail, you can’t charge them. The kids know that,” Mr Bowron said.
Mr Bowron repaired the window himself. “Hopefully that’s the end of it,” he said.
Sgt. Coumbe said police had been working with the family of the children, as well as the Corrigin Shire and Corrigin District High School to warn children about the consequences of anti-social behaviour.
“Overall, Corrigin enjoys a low crime rate with little reports of such petty behaviour thanks to the Corrigin community who take pride in their town,” Sgt. Coumbe said.