Va­grants driv­ing busi­ness out

The Press - - News - JONATHAN GUILD­FORD

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.

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