Easy access has turned Rouse Hill Shopping Centre into a target for young thugs.
Employees at some retail stores at a Sydney shopping centre have been banned from leaving alone at night for fear of being targeted by young troublemakers on a crime spree.
Though Rouse Hill Town Centre provides a relaxed, landscaped open plan area for customers to shop by day, Thursday late opening hours have now become a problem for retail workers.
The problem is that the open air set up allows people to walk through the centre after shops have closed, while retailers are cashing up and locking up.
“I would feel safer indoors… there is always one spontaneous incident at Rouse Hill on a Thursday night,” Cotton On Kids employee Roxanne Mercado told the Newsroom.
Security usually receives at least four calls from distressed shopkeepers every Thursday night. “It is always a group of teenagers, swearing, obstructing and being disruptive,” the security manager for the centre said.
One employee described a recent incident while she was handling hundreds of dollars in cash after 9:30pm on a Thursday: “A group of large guys, who looked older then me, slammed their hands on the glass doors and then ran into the glass either to get in or to just scare me.”
Osazee Egbenoma, a retail assistant at Factorie, told the Newsroom staff always have to be on alert for shoplifters on a Thursday night.
“Theft is always higher on a Thursday night and it does happen more regularly every week,” a GLUE casual said agreeing.
Parents are also expressing concern, joining employees in taking precautions when late night shopping.
Many, polled by the Newsroom, said they would no longer take their children to the centre on Thursday nights for fear they would be exposed to profanity and violence. – Report and photo by Zachary Pittas