Australia

Youths wielding metal poles, bricks clash with riot police in Perth

A Perth suburb was plunged into lockdown as 150 youths wielding metal poles and bricks clashed with police at an Airbnb property on Boxing Day.Police were called to the house party on Johanson Promenade in Murdoch just before midnight on Saturday after a noise complaint, but when they arrived the mob turned violent.Riot squad officers…

A Perth suburb was plunged into lockdown as 150 youths wielding metal poles and bricks clashed with police at an Airbnb property on Boxing Day.

Police were called to the house party on Johanson Promenade in Murdoch just before midnight on Saturday after a noise complaint, but when they arrived the mob turned violent.

Riot squad officers with shields and batons were then called in to disperse the crowd.

Frightening footage showed the youths appearing to attack police and raise dangerous weapons like metal poles and bricks in anger.

The violence then spilled out onto the streets as officers shouted orders like “move” and “drop the weapons now”, 7 News reported.

They also warned residents in nearby homes to stay inside.

“We were scared. Absolutely terrified,” a neighbour told the broadcaster.

It’s estimated tens of thousands of dollars of damage was done to the Airbnb property.

The owner of the short-term rental said the young woman who booked the home lied to her claiming it was for a “romantic getaway”.

The Airbnb host, who was too scared to be identified, said she only listed the property on the platform a few weeks ago.

“So the girls who booked it were among the first guests to stay here, and potentially the last,” she said.

It is likely the property will be added to a list of more than 400 Airbnb listings across Australia which have been suspended or removed from the platform as part of a nationwide crackdown on party houses.

Airbnb head of public policy for Australia, Derek Nolan, said the action in October was taken against the listings for violating policies on parties and events, and over a series of complaints.

Airbnb said the digital giant was now looking to expand the screening of “high-risk reservations” to stop parties before they start.

The company added it was “deeply disappointed” after hearing about the violent incident.

Only two partygoers were arrested for ignoring police orders. They have since been released and will appear in court at a later date.

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