Police target ‘verbally abusive’ youths at shopping centre
IPSWICH police are preparing to launch a long-term operation in a bid to end anti-social behaviour at a local shopping complex.
Shopkeepers and other business owners trading from the Rededge Shopping Centre in Goodna claim they are regularly subjected to verbal abuse from juveniles in their early teens loitering in the complex.
An employee at one of the shops told the Queensland Times she had seen teenagers hanging around and pestering people for money.
A Queensland Police Services spokeswoman confirmed police had received a number of complaints in recent months relating to the anti-social behaviour at the shopping centre.
"Businesses within the complex have identified issues relating to groups of juveniles congregating there who are at times verbally abusive and creating a public nuisance to both customers and workers," the spokeswoman said.
She said officers from Goodna Police Station were working with the shop's centre management, store owners and district Cross Cultural Liaison Officer partner agencies to "better understand the issues and respond accordingly".
"The District Crime Prevention Coordinator has also liaised with business owners and provided guidance on personal safety strategies such as how to deal with aggressive clients as well as armed robbery awareness training," she said.
A Goodna Police Station spokeswoman said the issue was not new but had recently flared up again.
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"It's one of those issues where it's not just a policing issue, it's a community-based issue," she said.
"Police can be proactive or reactive to what's happening out there but as far changing the behaviour of the people involved, police aren't going to be able to do that, other than (by) enforcing the law."
An operation will launch on April 14, targeting the behaviour by using high visibility patrols and involving Goodna Youth Services to divert young people from potential offending and provide support on a range of social issues.
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.