Guard set to patrol bus stops

By John Cousins

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A combination of security guards and volunteers will be used to clamp down on violent and disorderly behaviour at the main bus stops in Tauranga's downtown.

The council yesterday agreed to employ a security guard to patrol the area from 3pm to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, with support from volunteers such as the Maori Wardens to allow a possible extension of the hours, including Saturdays.

The new approach to improve security for the public on Willow St will start as soon as possible. It will be funded from existing budgets while the council explored alternative funding sources such as the Crime Prevention and Safe City project.

Discussions were continuing with the police on a proposal to shift Tauranga's Community Constable from his office in the Westpac Building to the council-owned empty shop in Willow St at the entrance to the Library Arcade.

Councillor Terry Molloy said the disorder incidents reported to the council were only the tip of the iceberg. People were continually being intimidated and were forced to cross the road to avoid a confrontation.

"It has been going on for too long - we need to fix it."

The cost to employ a part-time security guard was $32,000 a year. Councillors did not discuss the $10,000 option of playing soothing music through loudspeakers.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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