Problem youths: Are kids out of control at Stockland?
JUST days after two teens trashed a fast food store in Rockhampton Stockland Shopping Centre, four children have reportedly harassed shoppers.
Chris Johnson took to Facebook yesterday, concerned for her safety and the welfare of others.
"As a female I felt intimidated, alone and was left shaking, being the only person next to these kids at the bottom of the travelators,” Chris wrote.
Chris walked into the western entrance of the shopping centre on Monday at about 2pm when she saw the children with their bikes "harassing customers and disturbing the peace”.
She said the primary school aged children pushed the emergency buttons on the travelators, which trapped several elderly people who were pushing trolleys.
Chris yelled at the children telling them to leave the centre, but they used the carpark to re-enter the complex at the northern end.
"There were no security guards anywhere to be seen,” she said.
"Two police came eventually but by this time the kids had long gone.”
The centre's Donut King was trashed by teens on Thursday last week.
"The situation with juveniles and crime is out of control,” Chris said.
She planned to create a petition to have a permanent Police Beat in the shopping centre.
A police spokesperson said they received no report of the children harassing shoppers.
Police patrol the centre as part of their daily schedule and are also employed by the centre to provide assistance at times.
"We are doing as much as we can,” the spokesperson said.
Two juveniles were arrested for stealing offences yesterday afternoon, but the incident is believed to be unrelated.
Chris Johnson and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke have plans to meet this afternoon about the petition.
Residents have thrown their support behind the petition online.
Michelle and Andrew Godsmark commented "I will be the first one to sign your petition!!”
Sara Jackson said "I will happily sign that petition. These kids are an absolute nightmare for people who work in the centre as well as customers. It's gotten way too out of hand.”
Carolyn Egas said "Need police patrol security is not working.”
Janis Rossi commented "I'll sign it, something has to be done, before someone gets seriously hurt.”
Stockland Shopping Centre were contacted for comment.