A glamorous Melbourne suburb has become so ‘astronomically violent’ it would ‘put Rio to shame’, according to a local who has experienced violence there first hand.
Brighton, which is Melbourne’s fourth wealthiest suburb, made headlines last week when AFL WAG Rebecca Judd claimed she ‘feels unsafe’ in her $7.3million mansion.
And now local man Steve Wolf says it has become ‘astronomically worse’ since he moved to Brighton in February 2019, even though official statistics say crime is down by 18.8 per cent.
In recent months Mr Wolf said his front gate had been smashed, people with knives slashed a Liberal Party sign on his fence, and he’s been the victim of an attempted carjacking while driving his Ferrari.
Steve Wolf (pictured) said his ritzy Melbourne suburb of Brighton is now more violent than Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro
‘I’m frightened to have my daughter over to stay with me — she’s only 11,’ he told Neil Mitchell on Melbourne radio station 3AW.
‘It has become unbelievably violent. I quite often go to Brazil and the violence here is astronomical, it would put Rio to shame.’
There is no police station in Brighton, and Mr Wolf said without a local station, there’s ‘no way they (police) can respond to incidences quickly’.
He said violence had become a ‘common situation’ in the area in recent times.
‘A couple of months ago I had my front gates bashed in by an individual, screaming and what have you. I got my personal security onto it, we sorted that out.
‘A few weeks ago … about 2am, I had my young daughter sleeping and about a dozen individuals came with knives, attacking and slashing … a (Liberal Party) sign on the front part of my fence.
Mr Wolf says without a local police station in Brighton, there’s ‘no way they (police) can respond to incidences quickly’. Pictured is former Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Steve Wolf
‘I was debating whether to go out to confront them. I chose not to in case they came to attack my daughter,’ Mr Wolf said.
His comments followed online influencer Ms Judd saying the state government didn’t ‘seem to care’ or be doing anything about the ‘rapes, bashings and home invasions at the hands of the gangs in Bayside’.
Judd lives in the sprawling mansion in Brighton in the city’s southeast with her husband, retired AFL star Chris Judd, and their four children.
Her home boasts a gym, a tennis court that can be turned into ‘a footy oval or cricket pitch’, and a magnesium salt pool.
There is also a spacious wet bar complete with a snooker table and a bar.
‘I personally know two women who have experienced home invasions in Brighton in the last few weeks while they were at home.’
She reposted CCTV footage of a group of young men lurking outside properties in her affluent suburb and claimed it made her feel ‘unsafe’.
The teenagers, who were allegedly armed with knives, were filmed lurking outside several properties in the Bayside area before crashing a stolen BMW into a tree.
Steve Wolf said hoodlums tried to carjack him while he was driving his Ferrari (pictured)
But Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Sunday that he was ‘not interested in having an argument with Ms Judd’.
‘I’m also obliged to point out though, I think there are more than 70 additional police in the Bayside area, and the most recent crime statistics released by an independent agency would not support those sweeping assessments about patterns of crime.’
‘I say this respectfully to Bec Judd, or anybody – I don’t want anybody to feel unsafe,’ he said.
‘I’m sorry she feels that way. The data would tell a different story, but it is about personal feelings and your sense of safety.
Official data from Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency showed total criminal incidents in the Bayside Local Government Area were down 18.8 per cent from 2020 to 2021.
In the Brighton part of Bayside, where the Judds and Mr Wolf live, there were 999 incidents in 2021, down from 1,153 in 2020.
‘The most recent crime statistics released by an independent agency would not support those sweeping assessments’: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews rubbished Rebecca Judd’s claims about crime in her affluent suburb of Brighton
Ms Judd said burglaries and break-ins made her feel ‘unsafe’, but statistics show such ‘criminal incidents’ in Bayside fell to their lowest level in 10 years in 2021.
Mr Wolf also recounted another incident on 3AW, saying ‘I was driving one of my sports cars, my Ferrari, down the street and some individuals came out.’
They attempted to carjack him. ‘One came out. I was ready for a violent confrontation.
Melbourne man Steve Wolf said a gang armed with knives cut up a Liberal Party poster (pictured) on his front fence
‘Fortunately (the Ferrari) has a little bit more power than most cars and I managed to get away,’ he said.
Mr Wolf added that ‘In my short stay, it’s astronomically worse. I get a lot of reports from people I’ve become friendly with in the area.
‘There was a breaking and entering in my adjacent street, in my street there’s been quite a few.’
Liberal Brighton MP James Newbury has accused Mr Andrews of ‘victim blaming’ for dismissing Judd’s fears about crime in her area.
‘It’s a deeply disturbing way for a Premier to respond’: Liberal Brighton MP James Newbury has accused Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (right) of ‘victim blaming’ for dismissing AFL WAG Rebecca Judd’s (left) fears about local crime
Scared: ‘So sick of the rapes, bashings and home invasions at the hands of the gangs in Bayside,’ Bec wrote to Instagram
‘It doesn’t matter who this woman is or what’s her postcode, when she raised the fact that she was scared because a home invasion occurred in her street, the Premier dismissed her and victim blamed her,’ Mr Newbury told The Herald Sun on Monday.
‘It’s a deeply disturbing way for a Premier to respond to a woman’s concern about her safety,’ he added.
Mr Newbury had similar words for the Premier on Sunday, Tweeting: ‘How dare Daniel Andrews attack a woman because she feels unsafe – what a creep.’
‘This behaviour sounds a lot like victim blaming. There have been three home invasions in Brighton this week, a police shooting, and many more home invasions in local streets over recent months.’
Mr Newbury claimed residents were so scared they were hiring private security to protect them.