Call for Police Beat to Stop Rampaging Youth at Shopping Centre

5 Mar 2009 12:00 PMJann Stuckey

5th March 2009

Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey MP today joined calls from concerned staff and customers for a police beat at the Pines Shopping Centre.  Rampaging groups of youth are turning the centre into a danger zone with their fights and anti-social behaviour involving innocent bystanders.
 
“Frightened staff have asked to be transferred to shops in other centres due to an increase in youth lawlessness in the Pines Shopping Centre,” said Ms Stuckey

“Sources told me a security guard was seriously injured around 6pm on Friday 20 February after an altercation with a young male.

“As the guard tried to escort them out of the centre he was pushed against ANZ bank windows which broke, piercing his back, then they kicked and punched him, while the other Security guard was on hold for 25 mins waiting to get through to police.

“In another instance a woman was pushed out of the way as two girls fought and 30 or so others looked on and a staff member who requested a bag check was hit in the mouth.

“Incidents like these, mostly after school hours have escalated in the past month and we must move quickly to nip this unacceptable behaviour in the bud. These kids need to be stopped.

“Even if these youths are banned they still come into the centre and brazenly steal items from a variety of shops and if confronted they attack the person chastising them.

“I am calling for a police beat to be based in the centre during afternoons and early evenings when the centre is open. We already have a police beat at Elanora so why can’t we have it operate in the shopping centre?

“It would send a strong message to reckless youth that their bad behaviour will not be tolerated.

“Residents tell me they want a stronger police presence and young offenders to be held responsible for their crimes. They want graffiti artists to clean up their own mess and Hoons to be caught and punished including naming and shaming of individuals who are repeat or violent offenders which would also be an effective deterrent.

“These are all policies put forward by the LNP that were either ridiculed or voted down by the Beattie/Bligh Government who are soft on crime.

“After the shocking Coolangatta bashing of an off duty police officer and his girlfriend in November 2007 I called for youth curfews and boot camps but Labor scoffed at the idea. We need legislative powers so police can stop out-of-control youth.

“It is vital we have a concerted effort to make our shopping centre safe before these juveniles cause even more damage or seriously injure another person.”

A petition has commenced calling for a police beat to be located at the centre.

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Contact Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919