Tauranga City Council will look into introducing a liquor ban on 12th Ave after complaints of intimidation, defecation, urination, vomit and pre-8am drinking.
Council commission chairwoman Anne Tolley called for a report to be made into the possible ban after being presented with two petitions in today's
One of the petitions asked for the removal of homeless people from 12th Ave. The other called for a liquor ban. Photographs were supplied of people sleeping on the footpath, others congregating in the area and faeces, alcohol and litter left behind.
Professionals Tauranga real estate part-owner Paul Billinghurst told Tolley and fellow commissioners Shadrach Rolleston, Bill Wasley and Stephen Selwood the gatherings involved anywhere between two and 12 people daily.
"I'm at work by 7.45am and they are there with a bottle of wine half already done."
Professionals is located on the corner of 12th Ave and Cameron Rd.
Billinghurst said he created the petition of businesses owners in the area of 12th Ave and "without exception, the business owners were very keen for something to happen".
"Everyone spoke to me about staff feeling intimidated and staff feeling unsafe, especially female staff walking to and from cars. A lot of their staff park on 12th Ave," he said.
"There's defecation in our downpipes. I got there this morning and a guy had been there all weekend and called out 'good morning, Paul'. I said 'hey, can you please move so I can hose away the vomit?'
Billinghurst said business owners believed a lot of the people were coming from a transitional-style accommodation on Edgecumbe Rd.
"The only one that I'm aware of who is actually homeless is the ... guy with the tent."
Bringing in an alcohol ban would help give police more teeth to legally move the people on, he said.
Billinghurst called for the ban to span potentially from 11th Ave to 13th or 15th Ave.
"I know Westpac across the road has trespassed them but we don't have that option. Hence, coming here today to consider an alcohol ban."
The situation had become worse over the past six to 12 months, he said.
"It's every single day and more of them. It seems to be escalating."
Twelth Ave resident Maggie Stewart organised a residents' petition asking for greater action to remove the groups of "homeless" from the area.
"We have a lot of older people in our street feeling intimidated. A lady nearly got run over crossing the road because she won't walk past them. We have another lady thinking about moving. The poor lady is petrified. There have been a lot of older people scared of them."
Stewart said she and others had called police, particularly when she heard a nearby property being broken into, and they were "really good".
"I'm frightened of going out in case the house gets broken into. I'm scared of staying there by myself in case ..... we need a liquor ban so police can get [more] involved.
"I feel threatened and intimidated. Is there no facility for people with mental health issues to go into? There are so many older people down that street and they are so frightened."
The petitions were formally received by the council, with Tolley requesting council staff look into a report into the proposal of a liquor ban for the area.
Residents spoken to last week also expressed their concern for safety and council regulatory and compliance general manager Barbara Dempsey confirmed they had received complaints. These were followed up and council staff established the individuals involved were not homeless and were not breaking any laws.
Any reports of anti-social behaviour should be reported to police, she said.
Western Bay of Plenty police area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton said at the time anti-social behaviour sometimes involved a wide range of welfare issues and police would continue to work with partner agencies.