Residents of Tauranga's Avenues say they have become too scared to walk down their street because of increasing crowds of homeless people.
The 12th Ave residents have signed a petition calling for Tauranga City Council to remove the loiterers, which is expected to be presented to commissioners when they meet on Tuesday.
The council says the responsibility of "antisocial behaviour" lies with police and not the council and it is therefore "limited" in what it can do.
The petition, signed by 26 people, asks the council to "stop all homeless people from being on our street".
"The mess that is left behind is terrible, the language is shocking. Some people won't go past them as they are very intimidating," the petition reads.
The petition also states that people are regularly sprawled across the pathway and congregating at 12th Ave on a daily basis.
"There have been numerous people [who have] complained to the council and nothing has been done."
However, the Tauranga City Council say only two complaints have been laid, by the same person.
Residents spoken to by the Bay of Plenty Times said they felt scared and intimidated by the congregations of homeless on their street, near Cameron Rd.
One of the signatories, who would not be named in this article, said she was too scared to walk on the same side of the road as the group of people she believed were homeless.
"I don't know what they would do to me, I feel intimidated. I won't walk past them. I just don't feel safe.
"I know they do leave a lot of litter around. People are always picking up pizza boxes and bottles and all of that stuff."
Another woman, who also would not be named for fear of repercussion, said she felt for her fellow residents.
"Just the look of them is intimidating. I'm quite big and can stand up for myself but someone more timid or a little old lady, I can see how they would be scared."
Despite signing the petition calling for the homeless or rough sleepers to be moved on, the woman said she had not had a negative experience with them. However, she was cautious.
"To be honest, they've been very polite to me. I have to go past them and they always make room for me to go past. It's just the fact that they are there and I don't know where they go at night. I lock my doors as soon as it gets dark.
"You just don't know how vicious they could get."
The woman also said the gatherings brought the tone of the area down and she questioned who would want to buy a house with such activity happening on the street.
Tauranga City Council regulatory and compliance general manager Barbara Dempsey confirmed two complaints were made to the council from the same person regarding antisocial behaviour from individuals on 12th Ave in the past 12 months.
"Council staff have attended to these complaints and confirmed the individuals are not homeless. At the time we visited, they were not breaking any laws. We have advised the complainant to report any antisocial behaviour to police."
When asked if the council was aware of alcohol-related offences, Dempsey said the council did not enforce alcohol-related offences and they should be reported to police.
No littering complaints were received, but Dempsey encouraged people to do so as the council would remove the waste and investigate.
"The issues reported to council regarding individuals on 12th Ave are to do with antisocial behaviour and are police offences, and are not matters that can be addressed by council.
"Any members of the public who witness antisocial behaviour or feel intimidated by someone's behaviour should contact police."
Police were also asked how many complaints it received regarding homeless or rough sleepers on 12th Ave in the past year but would not say by the time the story was published.
Western Bay of Plenty area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton said homelessness was a complex issue and while rough sleeping, homelessness and begging were not criminal offences, police were called from time to time to deal with related matters involving public disorder or complaints about anti-social behaviour.
"Many of those dealt with are suffering a wide range of welfare issues and police will seek to use alternative resolutions and referrals to partner agencies to assist with specialist help. We aim to encourage, educate, encourage and learn from all interactions."
Police continued to work with partner agencies to better assist homeless people, he said.
Tommy Wilson, executive director of Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services, said he had sympathy for the residents and people - both residents and homeless - needed to be looked after.