Vagrants driving business out
Vagrants verbally harassing and intimidating customers, knocking on car windows and smashing bottles on the local supermarket’s roof is what some locals describe as a typical night in Linwood Village.
The Christchurch City Council decided on Thursday to urgently investigate installing a temporary alcohol ban in public places in the village, including Doris Lusk Reserve. The council wanted the ban to take effect this summer and staff would investigate implementing a permanent alcohol ban in the area. Local business owners said the temporary liquor ban could not come soon enough and hoped a permanent ban would be implemented.
The owner of the Supervalue supermarket on Stanmore Rd, Choy Ming Lee, said vagrants were causing longtime customers to stop coming to the shop by pummelling them with constant abuse and intimidation.
Lee said the vagrants were out the front of his store almost everyday before 7.30am drinking alcohol.
If they were not outside the store, they were hanging out at the park across the road or at a nearby coffee shop.
‘‘We don’t sell alcohol to them but they get other people to buy so it makes it hard.’’
Michael, who works in Linwood Village and did not want his last name used, said his boss was selling his business as a direct result of the trouble making and begging happening outside his store.
‘‘It’s just disgusting behaviour. We are just trying to run a business and get by.’’
He was pleased the temporary liquor ban was being implemented, but believed it should be permanent.
‘‘It’s a constant issue not just [one during] summer.
‘‘They treat the supermarket like a bar and the playground is for them to drink and smoke up on it.’’
Michael believed the trouble started when synthetic cannabis was legal in New Zealand.
He said those causing problems would beg out the front the store and smoke synthetic drugs in the car park behind his work.
‘‘I called the cops four times a week when it was really bad.
‘‘They’re not homeless they’re scam artists,’’ he said.
After hearing concerns, the council would meet with police to discuss installing security cameras in Linwood Village.
Begging and homelessness in Christchurch’s Linwood Village are causing concerns for some local businesses.