The Speculator has heard a consistent muttering from some local residents about the presence of security guards on the Devonport and Stanley Bay wharves.
These residents seem to be taking it personally. When they ask the question “Why do we need security guards?” it seems to have the subtext “Don’t they trust me” or “What do they expect to catch me doing?”
Assuming that these honest burghers of Devonport don’t have a guilty conscience, The Speculator believes that their concerns are misplaced.
There are three reasons why there are security guards at Devonport Wharf. 1: It makes the environment a lot safer and discourages anti-social behaviour; anything from skateboarding or cycling through the wharf to vandalism. Most importantly perhaps, it stops those who fish from the wharf gutting their fish in the toilets, which is fairly high on the “What not to use public toilets for” scale (although obviously not at the top).
2: It protects the several hundred thousand dollar investment the Council has made in refurbishing the wharf from being wasted, via the types of behaviour described above.
3: It sends a signal that the wharf is no longer a twilight zone, where the above behaviour can be indulged in with no fear of being caught. It implies the community has reclaimed the space and will no longer tolerate it being used for nefarious purposes.
There is one good reason why there is a security guard at Stanley Bay Wharf. It is a frequently used location for drug trades. The Speculator, who has a penchant for late night games of tennis, has observed all kinds of strange-goings on down there around 10-11pm. Dark, hidden and abandoned at night, it was a good location to conduct criminal behaviour.
So next time you come across a security guard at one of our wharves, have a chat to the guy, and thank him for the positive effect he has had on some of our key public spaces.
However, having said all of that, there is the issue of their behaviour. I’ve seen a few videos on youtube of skateboarders being beaten up by security guards for doing nothing at all, but have yet to see any heavy-handed behaviour from the dudes at the two wharves. If you have, drop The Speculator a line, or comment on this article.