Youths intimidating others in Square

Palmerston North police have been receiving complaints about groups of youths "loitering" in The Square and intimidating people.

Acting Senior Sergeant Phil Ward said there had been some instances of youths intimidating other users of The Square, and getting into fights with each other.

Extra foot patrols and help from the Maori Wardens and Community Patrol had been used to focus on The Square and stop problems before they could escalate.

Last weekend, police stopped a scheduled "rumble" between two groups.

Before that, two groups clashed outside the i-Site one evening brandishing machetes, but police broke them up before anyone was injured.

The ages of those involved ranged from young teens to people in their early 20s.

Mr Ward said playing classical music had reduced the amount of damage and loitering happening in The Square, but further strategies were to be discussed.

CCTV cameras were trained on trouble spots around the clock tower and outside the i-Site, and having recently been upgraded, they were operating better than ever, with more sophisticated technology, he said.

Manawatu Standard