Retailers fed up with drunks

By Kiri Gillespie

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Greerton retailers and schools want a liquor ban because of an increase in drunken and anti-social behaviour.

Tauranga councillors will today consider whether to change the bylaw to extend the city's liquor ban to include the suburb and met Greerton Village Community Association members yesterday.

Association manager Victoria Thomas said there had been an increase in complaints about drunks and undesirable vagrants.

"With a primary school in our village centre and the many elderly in the community, we have real concerns about maintaining Greerton as a safe area for our locals," she said.

"Incidents such as indecent exposure and constant harassment by people who are clearly intoxicated and aggressive are unpleasant and difficult for shoppers and retailers alike."

Ms Thomas said drunk people were affecting business in Greerton, and "there is no need for people to be walking around with a beer".

Areas where people were drinking included outside Greerton Hall in Cameron Rd and the village square in Chadwick Rd.

Colorado Dairy owner Muhammad Begg said Greerton needs a ban.

"There is always some fighting around here," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.

Mr Begg said he had only experienced one occasion involving a drunk person causing him trouble. The dairy owner chased him out of the shop and has not seen the man since, he said.

"There's nothing else we can do. He was drunk. Everyone focuses on smoking but I think alcohol is a bigger problem and it affects more people."

Gate Pa resident Katt Jenkin said she felt there "definitely" needed to be a liquor ban in place for Greerton.

"There's too many people around drinking at places like the park and things like that. Young people are the worst for it."

Ms Jenkin, 19, said vagrants she saw had never caused her problems but teenagers drinking on the street caused trouble.

Greerton resident Helen Vickoce said she had seen "a few" drunks hanging around.

"That's not great with the kids just there," she said, gesturing to Greerton Village School.

"It's more the younger sort of teenagers, and they are the ones that shouldn't have it in the first place really," she said.

Visique dispensary optician Tony Simpson said he was aware of "the odd vagrant" but had not personally experienced any trouble.

Gus Patel at Chadwick Stationery agreed.

"Sometimes they hang around but they don't cause us any problems," he said. "We've been here for the last 13-14 months and not had any trouble."

Mr Patel said young people during school holidays caused more ruckus than anything.

Tauranga City councillor Terry Molloy said retailers were incensed at the antisocial behaviour of a few.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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