A business owner fed up with feeling intimated and harassed in Christchurch’s CBD has gone as far as paying a patched gang member to address anti-social behaviour.
While some businesses say they feel crime in the central city is declining, Trendez owner Michelle Musgrove says she regrets her decision to move her business from a mall in 2019 to support the rejuvenation of the CBD.
She had needed to go as far as to pay a patched gang member to tell rough sleepers and/or beggars to go away, she said.
Outside her Colombo St shop, by the intersection shared by convenience stores, the bus exchange and an entertainment centre, several people spent their days asleep, asking for money, or keeping to themselves.
Musgrove and her employees had witnessed criminal behaviour, such as violence and drug use, and believed police were turning a blind eye, she said.
She gave an example of a night in May when a man, caught in security camera footage seen by Stuff, defecated outside her shop then accidentally broke a window pane.
Police told her that after weighing public interest, seriousness, evidence and likelihood of prosecution, they wouldn’t be investigating.
“They could be smoking p outside and the police still won’t do anything,” she said. “They shouldn’t be allowed to just sit…