Palmerston North teen attack videos: Shop manager says staff are 'absolutely terrified' to go to work - even security guards.

Ensis

Senior Reporter


Palmerston North mall workers are at breaking point after being continually terrorised by rampaging [Maorie] teenagers.
On Tuesday night around 30 [Maorie] teenagers smashed through businesses in the Downtown Shopping Centre.
Shop owners told Newshub the teens started stealing and smashing glass food containers and cases, throwing them at staff and kicking them.
A shocking video sent to Newshub, which is believed to be filmed by the offenders and is circulating on social media, shows a young worker being assaulted while the offenders cheer each other on.

Two offenders punching the staff member. Photo credit: Supplied

Workers at the store where the attack took place are at breaking point but are too scared to speak out publicly for fear of retribution.
A store manager, who wanted to remain anonymous, told AM on Friday the day after the attack, the offenders walked back into the shopping and waved the keys at the employees.
"Small businesses are in there that are self-owned or small cafes, they're trying to recoup $30,000 worth of damage done to their business, their daughter has been attacked and now they have to think about reopening with the fact these youths just walk in and flash the keys they have stolen," the manager told Newshub.
"When they attacked them, they stole clothes off them, they stole their hat, they stole their car, house and business keys off them. And then the next morning after the attack in that horrific video, they walked back into the business again, walking around flashing keys, spinning them in front of people [and] using intimidation tactics."
The manager said the employees in the downtown mall are "absolutely terrified" to go to work.
"Everyone in that mall is completely terrified. Even the security guard will ask our staff to walk with them outside if they are having a lunch or dinner break, so the fact that security is scared instantly shows how terrified everyone is," the manager said.

Dad shields his daughter from the attackers. Photo credit: Supplied

They said it's the same group of kids who have been committing these crimes since they were nine years old and have "complete control".
"They know they've got complete control of the justice system. The police can't do anything. Security can't do anything, no one can seem to touch them," the manager said.
"If they're caught and arrested or as they say arrested for the crime, they're taken away, put in the cells and then a few hours later released back to their parents…Or just let go and they just carry on doing exactly what they want to do.
"We've seen them at times where they have been taken away by police and shown back up at the business only a few hours later."

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The manager said police aren't doing enough to tackle the issue despite several complaints.
"We have complained to the police over and over again and asked for more assistance, more help within the area. Yes, it's very prominent in the downtown plaza but it's been a wider community issue for Palmerston [North] for a long period of time and they basically say it's up to your landlords," the manager said.
"The problem we have is we've been back to the landlords and the landlords say, 'No it's up to the police, we've not got a facility to bring on any more security'. And to be fair, they have been kind of distant for the last eight months of us begging, knowing this sort of incident is going to come to a head."
The Shopping Centre said it has increased security after the attack and the safety of its retailers and customers is the "top priority".
 
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