PETITION PRESSURE: Stockland Rockhampton Shopping centre retailers will meet today.
PETITION PRESSURE: Stockland Rockhampton Shopping centre retailers will meet today. Chris Ison ROK310816cstockland1

PETITION PRESSURE: Stockland retailers meet about crime

RETAILERS and business owners at Rockhampton Stockland will have the opportunity to discuss the debate fought by hundreds of residents - whether the shopping centre should have a Police Beat.

An E-petition to open a Police Beat in Stockland was created last week after a resident was intimidated by the actions of teenagers at the centre who were pushing emergency buttons and bringing their bikes indoors.

READ: Problem youths: Are kids out of control at Stockland?

Tomorrow Stockland will hold a meeting to engage with those who would be affected by the alleged crime the most.

Centre manager at Elysia Billingham said the meeting would be held as part of regular engagement with tenants.

She could not confirm whether there was a need for a Police Beat.

"Police resources are determined by Queensland Police,” Ms Billingham said.

"We are very appreciative of the Queensland Police and value their ongoing support of the centre and will continue to support and work with them to improve the experience of our customers and the Rockhampton community.”

The petition has gained almost 1,300 signatures within three days.

It requests a permanent Police Beat should be opened at the shopping centre as soon as possible and at no additional costs to the government or retailers.

It requests "Stockland underwrite all costs of a Police Beat as a service that will ultimately benefit their profits by ensuring an environment the public feels safe to attend”.

Two extra police officers and at lease one indigenous officer or liaison officer were also requested by the petition.

If passed it's hoped the petition addresses threats, stealing, violence and general crime in the centre.

Online discussion has been overwhelmingly for the Police Beat.

Aaron Jones called for harsher punishments on Facebook.

"We wouldn't need this if there was a real punishment for these little shxxs but the bleeding hearts make sure nothing will ruin these poor little lost soles lives. Bring in a boot camp,” Aaron wrote.

Richard and Patrice Hamilton urged everyone to sign the petition.

"The crime at Stockland is out of control it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously assaulted or injured by one these offenders who have absolutely no regard for the law,” they wrote.

The petition will close on Monday, August 26.

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