AustraliaCops plan to crack down on violence at Australia’s worst mall
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Police have revealed their plans to crack down on violence and brawling at one of Australia's worst malls.
A Current Affair’s crew were filming in the mall as mall rats on a booze-fuelled afternoon began a wild brawl.
They abused the camera crew, and some turned on former Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons, who visited the mall with A Current Affair reporter Tineka Everaardt, when he tried to intervene in a fight.
“(It’s) none of your business Lyons. F--- off you dog,” one mall rat said.
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“You’re full of s---. Go f------ blow your shit off somewhere else mate. Take your cameras and f--- off,” another mall rat said.
For years, the mall has been a magnet for similar antics, but the violent, anti-social behaviour has escalated in recent months.
Mr Lyons told A Current Affair that, after the shocking ordeal he and the crew were subjected to, he saw no solution but to knock the shopping centre down.
“This is a blight on Australia … The publicity that comes out of this, you know, what do you think people think?” he said.
“Bring the bulldozers in tomorrow, that’s what I would do.”
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Everaardt also caughtup with Cori Glencross, the 23-year-old woman who gained national notoriety in April when she allegedly attacked an elderly lady at the mall.
Ms Glencross said she didn't want to talk about the incident.
On A Current Affair tonight, police announced their new operation "Safeguard Geelong", cracking down on unruly behaviour in Geelong's centre.
Superintendent Craig Gillard said police were reclaiming the streets, and Geelong was a safe place to live.
"We've increased our police presence in the area, not only with uniformed police," he said.
"We've got plain-clothed police, we've had them on horses, on pushbikes, and we also have our PSOs (protective services officers) working there now."
He said arrest rates had gone up 15 per cent in the past 12 months as police refused to "shy away" from the serious offences.
Shop owners at the mall told A Current Affair they are losing foot traffic at an alarming rate as the teenagers take over. One shop owner, whose family business had been at the mall for more than 40 years, is relocating.
“It’s just unfortunate this has got a bit of an ‘exclusion zone’ on it,” he said.
One man speaking to A Current Affair claimed a nearby group of mall rats had attacked him months early, knocking out his teeth. He began arguing with the group of teenagers before he entered a kebab shop and came back out wielding a crowbar.
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