Mall bans­mu­mand­her friends

Eastern Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MANDY TE, LIU CHEN & CATRIN OWEN

Flat Bush mum Yvone and her four fe­male friends have been tres­passed from Sylvia Park af­ter things turned sour with se­cu­rity guards.

On Sep­tem­ber 9, Yvone along with her six-month-old baby, and four friends went shop­ping at the Auck­land mall.

The group spent about $2000 at shops, Yvone says. Af­ter pay­ing for items at For­ever New and at­tempt­ing to leave the store, they were stopped by a se­cu­rity guard, she says.

The guard ac­cused her of steal­ing items at Sylvia Park a week ear­lier, Yvone says.

The group was taken to an in­spec­tion room where the guard told them to write down their names and ad­dresses, she says.

‘‘We didn’t know what was go­ing on.’’

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 says.

The women felt the treat­ment was ‘‘unac­cept­able’’ and asked for an in­ter­preter which was re­fused at first by staff, Yvone says.

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, Yvone says.

Po­lice then is­sued all women with tres­pass no­tices ban­ning them from vis­it­ing Sylvia Park shop­ping cen­tre for two years.

The in­ci­dent has gen­er­ated a lot of dis­cus­sion on WeChat, a so­cial me­dia app pop­u­lar among Chi­nese.

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

A spokesper­son from Kiwi Prop­erty, which owns the mall, says it’s 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.

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

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

‘‘This is their le­gal right to do so.’’

Yvone’s lawyer Al­fred Chong says they are in the process of con­tact­ing the man­age­ment of Sylvia Park, and cur­rently there is no charge be­ing laid.

SUP­PLIED

Five Chi­nese women went shop­ping at the Sylvia Park mall and were later banned from en­ter­ing for two years.

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