Outbursts and fights threaten security

VIOLENT outbursts and verbal disputes in Hargreaves Mall and Killians Walk have again prompted calls for extra security and police patrols. 

The Bendigo Trader's Association has held talks with police about plans to curb public order offences.

Association president Ross White welcomed news there would be an extra police presence.

"We've spoken with police. They're doing an excellent job," he said.

"They've listened to our concerns and they're increasing foot patrols in the area. Police are the only ones who can stop this sort of stuff." 

Mr White said traders were concerned about the level of anti-social behaviour, but added it was no different to any other area.

A fight between two teenagers in Killians Walk and an attack on a Coles supermarket security guard are the most recent incidents needing police intervention.

One trader said she witnessed a boy, of about 16-years-old, thrown against a glass shopfront by another teen in Killians Walk.

She said the pair were wrestling and using "disgusting language" before their clash outside a vacant shop.

"How it didn't break the window pane is beyond me," she said. "I saw one guy getting tackled straight into the shop. It's lucky there was no-one in there." 

The trader, who asked for her name to be withheld, has had to call police on a number of occasions.

"The violence with youth down here is just astronomical. There's always something going on."

She said there should be a stationed security guard patrolling the walkway and adjoining Hargreaves Mall.

"A full-time guard would help. There's one at the Marketplace and there are confrontations there but they get nipped in the bud pretty quickly.

"I think if the idea was put to traders people would be happy to chip in and pay for the guard."

Mr White said employing a security guard was feasible but would present problems in getting funding commitments from traders.

"There's certainly no plans as yet to have a security guard," he said.

Bob Morley, from Before the Bounce sports store, said he saw the end of the fight last Thursday and said the teenagers were yelling loudly.

Police are the only ones who can stop this sort of stuff. - Ross White

He said the confrontation was the first time he had seen a violent incident in the shopping strip for weeks.

"It could happen anywhere. We've got security cameras here. The police were straight onto it. They'll sort it out," he said.

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