An extended security presence is being trialled in Greerton's retail area to try and deter unlawful behaviour.
A community liaison role began today in Greerton's retail area after two shop windows were smashed after a fight broke out on the streets about 6.30pm on Thursday.
"There was a number of homeless people, about half a dozen of them according to the retailers out there," Tauranga city councillor Terry Molloy said.
"There was a fight, and two significant windows were smashed by the Lotto shop on Cameron Rd."
Molloy met with retailers today regarding increased safety concerns at Greerton Village and said the council had since agreed to extend the security service to include the retail area.
A community liaison role would act as a deterrent measure on a trial basis.
By the end of March 2018, 360-degree cameras will also be installed in the area.
"We can use the footage to alert police to any suspicious activity," Molloy said.
"The safety of our community is of paramount importance to us, and we strongly encourage the public to report any instances to the police."
Molloy said issues had escalated in the area which prompted the need for extra security.
"One lady had $200 stolen from her next to an ATM a while back, outside the Lotto shop a woman had to call for help because someone was trying to force her to give up $20 at an ATM machine," he said.
"When this happened I felt the need to act quickly. It is a community service to make sure everybody in the street feels safe."
Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said he would firstly like to see the police take stronger action against similar issues before a larger security presence was put in place.
"I would hate to see a city full of security guards," he said.
"We have a police force tasked with maintaining law and order."
Brownless agreed that violent behaviour should not be tolerated and would not be accepted.
"I see it on an increase. The nice approach has been tried, and now it is time for zero tolerance," Brownless said.
"There are existing rules that you can't be drunk and disorderly on the streets, you can't be violent, and you can't smash windows. You don't need a special bylaw for that."
Greerton Mainstreet manager Sally Benning said the incident was unfortunate, but the council acted quickly.
"The retailers are just looking for support where they can," she said.
Benning said the community felt for the genuine homeless but did not appreciate the people who were claiming to be living on the streets.
She was grateful to the council for security guards were policing the area this evening.
"I know they are not the police, but the presence of people in uniform does help."