Tahyne Gil and her children Lily 2, Nate 5 and Jake 14 weeks outside the Stockland Cairns shopping centre PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Tahyne Gil and her children Lily 2, Nate 5 and Jake 14 weeks outside the Stockland Cairns shopping centre PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

Harassed young mother ‘sat terrified in the car’

PERSONALLY affected by intimidation in the Earlville area mother-of-three Tahyne Gill described herself as a "target" of standover tactics at the Stockland Cairns shopping centre carpark.

"I got barrelled up by a lady wanting money," she said.

"I said 'I left my wallet in the car' which I had and she followed me out and said she would wait for me to return.

"I was terrified and just sat in the car."

Ms Gill said she had seen groups of teens kicking cars at the lights on the corner of Balaclava and Mulgrave roads and felt a general sense of being unsafe.

"It's scary," she said.

"I feel like I can't walk around as I am always looking around because I am a target.

"If someone comes up and harasses me I am probably going to give them what they want just to get them away from me, especially when I have got my little baby."

Ms Gill is not alone.

The Cairns Post spoke to another young mother at the Barr Street Markets complex on the opposite side of Mulgrave Rd.

Mount Sheridan local Edyta Ptak said she was also approached recently by a woman asking for money in the Stockland Cairns carpark.

"She wanted me to give her $20. I gave it to her because I had my daughter with me and she is only five," she said.

"Then she was asking for $50."

In the face of what one business owner, who traded from the centre, described as a crime "epidemic" Stockland Cairns centre manager Ciaran Tuite maintained efforts had been made to address the issue.

"The centre … has introduced new initiatives to improve the overall customer experience," Mr Tuite said.

Owner of two chemists in the centre, Jason Christopher said he was afraid for the safety of his female staff and felt action needed to be taken.

"Where does the buck stop? Unfortunately politicians have to mandate something a bit stronger otherwise personal safety becomes jeopardised," he said.



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