POLICE have urged residents not to resort to vigilante-style justice after a man struck an eight-year-old boy with a stick last week in an apparent reprisal attack.
The incident comes during a spate of break and enters on local homes and businesses in recent months, sparking an outpouring of anger from victims, some advocating violence against known offenders.
The 46-year-old man has been charged with assault following Wednesday afternoon’s incident and will face court later this month.
Police believe the alleged assault was triggered by an incident between the eight-year-old and the man’s son.
In recent days, other threats of violence against offenders have surfaced on social media.
One local victim wrote on Facebook: “If the courts won’t do anything, we should band together and get justice ourselves”, while another victim posted: “Ok this has gone too far now. Griffith, we need to catch these bastards”.
But Inspector Tony Reneker from Griffith Police urged victims to let justice take its course, warning those guilty of vigilante justice would face charges.
“We are totally opposed to it (vigilantism) and from our point of view, violence just creates more violence,” Inspector Reneker said.
“People taking the law into their own hands achieves nothing and those guilty of it may well end up being prosecuted themselves.”
He said while the rate of home break-ins had eased since the December/January peak, it was still a “serious issue” in the local area command.