Shopper calls for carpark patrols

By Ewen McRae

A wheelchair-bound man is considering making a discrimination complaint to the Victorian Human Rights Commission following an incident at Woodgrove Shopping Centre’s carpark.

Darren, who did not wish his surname to be published, said he visited the shopping centre on July 17, where he confronted a man incorrectly parking in a disabled parking bay.

When he returned from his shopping he found the back left tyre of his car had been slashed.

Darren has called for shopping centre management to allow police and council officers to enforce disabled parking at the centre.

However, Woodgrove Shopping Centre manager Kylie Robertson said: “While it would be inappropriate to comment on this particular situation as it is an ongoing police investigation, we would like to reassure our community that we do allow police and council to monitor and penalise those who use disabled spaces inappropriately at Woodgrove.”

Darren has made a report to police and they are reviewing CCTV footage of the carpark.

“The interaction with the guy wasn’t confrontational in any way, but he clearly knew he shouldn’t have been parking there,” Darren said.

“I had no sense that anything else was going to happen, but when I drove off I heard the thud thud thud of the wheel, pulled over and got my wheelchair out and saw a huge slash in the tyre.

“At this stage we presume it was the same guy.

“It might be an amazing coincidence that I have this incident and it turns out to be someone else who slashed the tyre, but that’s pretty unlikely.”

Darren said he raised the issue of monitoring disabled parking spaces with centre management three years ago, but claimed nothing had changed.

“I posted on their Facebook page about this incident and was basically told if it happens again to tell a security guard.

“People need to understand why these disabled bays are so important.”