Nicole Mathewson in The Press reports:
Christchurch Hospital staff have been advised not to walk through the Occupy Christchurch camp after dark amid fears of increasing crime and drug use at the protest site.
The Occupy Christchurch group began as part of a global movement against corporate greed on October 15, with about 30 tents set up in South Hagley Park since.
However, some say the camp has become a venue for drug use and has caused safety problems for staff from the nearby hospital.
Christchurch District Health Board security and emergency planning manager Adam Creed said cars had been broken into and hospital staff had complained about being approached for money while they were walking home at night.
“This is all happening opposite the city’s main hospital, and we can see everything from our buildings. We’ve seen some things going on, such as people paying for sexual favours.”
Security guards had always been available to escort staff to their cars, and three extra guards had been hired to make sure people did not have to wait, he said. …
A hospital staff member, who did not want to be identified, said the hospital had told staff not to walk through the park at night because of increased crime, including sexual assaults.
Many of her colleagues thought it was disgraceful they now needed escorts to walk through the park.
“We have to cower and worry that our car will be still intact when we finish work, or worse that we will not make it safely to our car,” she said.
The mother of a 17-year-old protester said her son had been turned on to drugs by others at the Occupy site about two months ago.
“He was an absolutely awesome child; no problems, a church boy.”
He began camping there and would be hidden by others if she tried to get him to go home, she said.
How disgraceful. Time for Mayor Bob to follow Auckland and Wellington and evict the malignancy.