Shop­ping mall bans­mu­mand friends

Central Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MANDY TE, LIU CHEN & CATRIN OWEN

A group of Chi­nese women have been tres­passed from Sylvia Park af­ter things turned sour with se­cu­rity guards.

On Sep­tem­ber 9, Yvone Zhang along with her six-month-old baby, and four friends went shop­ping at the Auck­land mall - New Zealand’s largest shop­ping cen­tre.

The group, which first shared their story with Chi­nese news web­site Skykiwi, spent about $2000 at shops such as Zara, Cue and For­ever New, Zhang said.

Af­ter Zhang paid for her items at For­ever New and at­tempted to leave the store she was stopped by a se­cu­rity guard, she told Stuff.

The guard ac­cused her of steal­ing items at Sylvia Park a week ear­lier, Zhang said.

The group were taken to an in­spec­tion room where the guard told them to write down their names and ad­dresses, Zhang said. ‘‘I felt re­ally an­gry.’’

Se­cu­rity guards called in po­lice who asked for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion from the group.

Po­lice left the room for one and a half hours while the women waited, she said.

The group of women felt the treat­ment was ‘‘unac­cept­able’’ and asked for an in­ter­preter which was re­fused at first by staff, Zhang said.

A Chi­nese po­lice­man ar­rived and said the group needed to write down their names and ad­dresses be­fore they could leave, oth­er­wise they would be taken to the po­lice sta­tion, Zhang said.

Po­lice is­sued all five women with tres­pass no­tices.

The women have been banned from vis­it­ing Sylvia Park for two years.

Zhang felt she was a vic­tim of racism, she said.

Sylvia Park’s Face­book page re­ceived a raft of com­plaints fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent.

A spokesper­son from Kiwi Prop­erty, which owns the mall, said it was tak­ing the claims on so­cial me­dia ‘‘very se­ri­ously’’.

‘‘As a re­sult we have com­pleted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into this in­ci­dent and stand by the po­lice’s de­ci­sion to is­sue a tres­pass no­tice,’’ the Kiwi Prop­erty spokesper­son said.

‘‘We can con­firm there was both sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity and dis­rup­tive be­hav­iour that led to this ac­tion.’’

In­spec­tor Steve Clark said po­lice were asked by man­age­ment to is­sue tres­pass no­tices.

‘‘This is their le­gal right to do so,’’ Clark said.

Kiwi Prop­erty wel­comed the in­di­vid­u­als in­volved to con­tact them di­rectly to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion fur­ther, its spokesper­son said.

SUP­PLIED

A group of women were de­tained by Sylvia Park se­cu­rity for more than two hours.

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