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Menacing youth in Riccarton

Joey Dwyer
metro bus station riccarton2

Community rep backs businesses complaining about terrifying teens scaring away customers.

Riccarton-Wigram Community board chairperson Mike Mora said he felt for businesses in the area around the Riccarton bus exchange.

Art of Sewing owner Kathy Ryder said spitting and swearing teenagers were deterring customers from going to her shop.

She had decided not to renew her lease after an increase in youth crime since the bus exchange opened late last year. People often came into her shop and complained about the behaviour outside.

The community board was trying to make the area less attractive for people to congregate in, Mora said.

"We know they [businesses] are suffering and struggling but it's still a work in progress."

"Police are under resourced, so the expectation of having a permanent police presence in that area would be a big, big ask," he said.

Kathmandu worker Jina Ingles said teens frequently cause a disturbance.

 "I have worked in the role since July last year and since then we have had difficulties with the people across the road, they are always fighting and police are always called," she said. 

 Jina Ingles said customers felt quite intimidated when the menacing teens hung around the front of the store.

"I've had to move groups along so customers could enter the store, they have their bikes right at the front door and they are bothering people."

An OCS cleaner commented on the security around the bus exchange on Riccarton Rd.

She said the security guards are "slack" and "only stay inside" when teens start to cause trouble, and this meant the smaller indoor bus stop nearby isn't protected.