Woman unnerved by men in car park

ROBIN RAYMOND
Last updated 11:30 05/09/2012
Car park stairwell
SCOTT HAMMOND
Unsettling encounter: A Blenheim woman felt intimidated after an encounter with two young men in the stairwell of the Arthur St car park in Blenheim.

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A Blenheim woman is too scared to use the car-parking building on Alfred St after she was intimidated by two young men in the building stairwell.

The woman was walking up the stairs to her car on the first floor just after 1pm on August 1 when she saw a young man in his late teens or early 20s at the top of the stairs. She felt uneasy when he looked away from her as if trying to hide his face. She hurried past, looking back to see a second young man join him.

As she reached her car, which was parked close to the stairs, she saw the pair tying red bandannas over their faces while walking towards her.

"I had my keys out so I just jumped in the car and drove off really quickly, straight down to the police station. I saw them run off the other way."

Police immediately dispatched a car to the area, she said.

Though she was not sure what the young men intended, she was afraid they were going to mug her and she was worried it might happen to someone else. She had been too scared to park in the building since.

"I have never been scared like that anywhere in Blenheim before. I have lived in some pretty rough places in the UK and I haven't felt  intimidated like that in a long time."

Constable Andrew Holdaway said there had been an increase in people affiliated with the Mongrel Mob wearing red bandannas around Blenheim, but people were not reporting being intimidated. He confirmed police were keeping an eye on the situation. "It's not something that an average citizen in Marlborough sees often, but in other parts of New Zealand it's a common occurrence" he said.

The car park was not a known trouble spot for police and he was not aware of any similar incidents."

"We have had a few incidents there, mainly around youths sitting around the top edge of the parapet and people were worried they were going to fall off and some young people threw some bottles off the top."

Council assets and services manager Dean Heiford said the car park had CCTV cameras on every floor, sensor lights and Armourguard security guards did random night patrols. On the whole the building had been safe, but he urged people to report incidents so the council could look at ways to improve security

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- The Marlborough Express

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