News State Victoria Woman found dead at ‘dangerous’ Melbourne public housing block

Woman found dead at ‘dangerous’ Melbourne public housing block

south melbourne public housing block
The apartment complex has 24-hour security because of recent concerns about violence. Photo: ABC
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Four men are being interviewed by police and a knife has been retrieved from a residential garden after a woman was found dead at a South Melbourne public housing block.

Police said they were speaking to the men after the woman, 46, was found with fatal injuries about 6pm on Saturday, but nobody had been charged.

Round-the-clock security has been employed at the Park Towers apartment complex in the past week, because of ongoing complaints of drug use and violence involving some residents and visitors.

SES crews and police searched the site surrounding the complex on Sunday, retrieving a large knife in the garden area outside, but it is not known whether the item is connected to the death.

Police have not said how the woman died or revealed the nature of her injuries.

Resident heard screams

One resident, who asked not to be identified, told the ABC she heard screaming and men fighting before police arrived on Saturday evening.

“I was in the kitchen cooking and I hear some people scream, and I was really worried that something happened downstairs,” she said.

“I was scared, really scared, and I just closed my window.”

south melbourne public housing block
The apartment complex has 24-hour security because of recent concerns about violence. Photo: ABC

Sam, whose mother lives at the complex, said he was concerned after learning of the woman’s death.

“I’m afraid this building is a bit dangerous for some reason,” said Sam, who declined to give a surname.

“Whenever you come out of your flat it can be dangerous for you.

“I will always tell my mum not to open the door – whenever people call, whenever people scream, not to open it because you never know what’s going to happen.”

‘Criminal’ visitors spark safety fears

Other residents said violence, drugs and alcohol were constant issues in the building, and police were regularly called to the complex.

John Lowndes, the president of the Park Towers Tenant Management residents group, said only this week the complex had started using security guards 24 hours a day.

“The majority of people that live here are terrific – there’s over 800 tenants in this building and they’re considerate and charming,” he said.

“It’s only a small amount that bring in their friends who are drug users or criminals that really disrupt the entire building.”

He said the group had been lobbying the state government for years to get funding to improve safety at the complex and ensure the housing offered was appropriate for the tenants.

The police homicide squad is investigating the woman’s death.