Anti-social behaviour outside library returns
Blenheim library staff have had to contend with intimidation and drug activity in the library courtyard, says its manager.
Knocking down a wall outside the library helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the area, although the problem was back during the school holidays, says Marlborough District Libraries manager Glenn Webster.
Staff had complained during the holidays about disorderly incidents, including intimidation, bad language and drug activity.
The wall was removed to make the area less attractive as a gathering-place, Mr Webster said.
"The problem seems to have escalated again during the school holidays," he said.
"But it [the wall coming down] has had a small effect. It reduced the feeling of intimidation in that area."
Community Constable Russ Smith, of Blenheim, said active police work also helped address the issue, but agreed anti-social behaviour outside the library had returned during the school holidays.
"I wouldn't want to brand young people as the main problem, but it is mainly young people who congregate in that area."
Library staff have complained during the school holidays about incidents of disorderly behaviour, he said.
Police and library staff had taken a pro-active approach: "We're keen to make sure the problem doesn't develop."
Some people had used the wall to conceal their activities, he said. "It was like a hidey-hole, with all sorts of dodgy stuff going on."
Mr Webster said it was reassuring to have a police presence in the area as staff and library patrons could be intimidated by loiterers outside the entrance.
"People definitely still complain about the language and some of the behaviour," he said.
"We've had people come in and say `it smells like marijuana out there' so we'll give the police a call and they'll pop around."
The Marlborough District Council installed a sound system in December 2010 and played classical music to deter troublemakers.
"The music has created a different feeling in the area," Mr Webster said.
- The Marlborough Express