Gang attack in Tweed traumatises schoolchildren
A GANG of youths terrified a group of schoolchildren who were in a Tweed shopping centre by threatening to bash them, according to a Currumbin mother.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said the youths approached her 13-year-old daughter and her friends at Tweed City Shopping Centre about 1.50pm on Wednesday.
She said the youths demanded the teens, including the woman's nephew, to hand over their shoes and phones or they would break his arm.
The teens stood up and started walking towards the cinemas to escape the situation, but the woman said it escalated and there was no help from bystanders.
"The leader was a big kid and the group was mostly boys," she said.
"They got on their phones and started calling their other friends who were in the centre.
"Then the group doubled from about six to nearly 13 to 14."
She said her daughter and her nephew were "terrified" as the gang blocked the exits of the shopping centre, including the lift, and continued to threaten the teens for their belongings.
"I got a text message from my daughter that said, 'Mum come quick and get the police'.
"I couldn't get my daughter to answer her phone because she was too scared to produce it.
"She said they were right up in their faces and they would drag them down the stairs and bash them if they tried to leave.
"My nephew eventually answered the phone and told me they were at the cinemas.
"I rang centre management and told them to get security up there now."
The woman said the youths fled as soon as they saw security approaching but she had since been in contact with police and will file a report.
She said she was disappointed staff at the cinema didn't help the teens or at least phone security.
"Why didn't someone get some help?
"It's the first time I've ever let her go to the movies alone and now she doesn't want to go near that shopping centre."
Tweed City Shopping Centre management said they were not aware of the incident.
However, centre manager Grant Jolley has encouraged customers who felt unsafe in the centre to contact the onsite customer service or security teams for assistance.
"The comfort and safety of our customers and retailers is our highest priority," Mr Jolley said.
"In an emergency customers should always contact 000.
"Tweed City operates a proactive security management program that includes dedicated on-site security patrols across the centre and car parks, by way of security guards and security cameras."
Tweed-Byron Police were contacted but did not respond before deadline.