A group of youths are believed to be involved in the serious assault of a Bayfair Shopping Centre worker.
Tauranga police are now investigating the incident, which comes on the heels of a spate of violence and aggressive behaviour from groups of young people at the city's main bus interchanges.
Tauranga area response manager Senior Sergeant Nick Lewer said in a statement today: "The man was going for a walk during a break when he was allegedly assaulted by a group of youths near the Farm St bus interchange just after 3pm.
"We believe these young people have then run back into the shopping centre, leaving the victim with a significant eye injury.
"The Farm St area was busy at that time and we are urging anyone who saw the assault or [who] can help us identify those involved to contact us."
The statement also said police were aware there had been an increase in incidents relating to young people congregating in the vicinity of Bayfair.
"In response, we have increased our presence in this area, and we continue to work with both the shopping centre and local and regional authorities to address these ongoing issues," Lewer said.
Yesterday, Bay of Plenty Regional Council confirmed there would be an increase in security guards at the Willow St and Farm St bus interchanges from tomorrow.
In a Facebook post, the regional council said it would be contracting two security firms.
"Safety for our bus users and bus drivers is crucial to us and the current behaviour of a small group of youths around the Willow Street bus stops is totally unacceptable."
The post came after an incident on Thursday in which a bus driver was left "emotionally distraught" and stranded when a group of youths forced their way onto the bus and smashed up the vehicle's rearview mirror.
An investigation was also under way in relation to the alleged intentional damage of a bus on Farm Street just after 5.15pm on Thursday. It also follows the arrest of young people found with a homemade Taser and a knife.
On May 6, drivers began boycotting three bus stops - Willow St, Farm St and 217 Maunganui Rd - if young people were congregating because they felt unsafe due to recent incidents of violence and threatening behaviour.
Anyone with information in relation to Saturday's serious assault is asked to contact police via 105 and quote file number 220514/2327.
Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.