Trouble returns to Riccarton Rd bus lounges

TROUBLE RETURNS: Youths loitering and anti-social behaviour has returned to the Riccarton Rd bus lounges.

Trouble has returned to the Riccarton Rd bus lounges again.

Riccarton Community Constable Aaron Thorn said anti-social issues the lounges faced when it opened in December 2015 is “rearing its ugly head again.”

He said the main issue is loitering with the youth aged in their teens being “disrespectful and smart” and not moving on from the bus lounges when asked.

But Constable Thorn said the issues don’t appear to be the same as what they used to be.

The bus lounges on Riccarton Rd have frequently attracted anti-social behaviour since opening, including assaults.

“It is minor in the grand scheme of things, they are just loitering and hang around and the guards get a bit frustrated,” Constable Thorn said.

Police met with the security officers over the issue last week.

The problem started again just before Christmas involving youths aged between 14 and 17.

 Constable Thorn said police can’t be at the bus lounges all day.

“Obviously, when we are there they behave themselves or scatter themselves. We are just going to have to advise them to call the police if any of that stuff is going on,” he said.

Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board member Catherine Chu was “surprised” the issues had returned.

The board previously had a working group in place and it had sent youth workers into the lounges to ease the trouble last year.

Ms Chu said if anti-social behaviour is going to be a problem the group may need to be re-established to explore limited wi-fi and police presence in the area.

She was keen on beautifying unused land on Division St such as installing a basketball court and grass areas to give the youth something to do.