What a surprise: tresspass notices don’t work on beggars


Beggar with a smart phone on Queen Street, Auckland

Wonders will never cease, trespass notices are being ignored by beggars.

Trespass notices are not enough to keep beggars from hassling Asians in Auckland for money and cigarettes, a business owner says.

Last Thursday, the Herald reported that five rough-sleepers had harassed customers in Esquires Cafe on Courthouse Lane.

One became unruly after being asked to leave. Police arrested him, and he was later given a trespass notice banning him from the premises.

On Friday, police were again called to the cafe after three men and two women hassled Asian diners there.

The beggars were all given trespass notices.

The cafe owner, who wanted to be known only as Ms Li, said those who were trespassed were banned from entering Esquires, but that did not stop them loitering around the outdoor seating area where smoking customers were, because it was outside the cafe.  

“This is very annoying to the customers, and it is very frightening because they are not sure what they are going to do,” Ms Li said.

“The gang only focused on Asian customers. I think they have seen that they had luxury bags, late-model iPhones …”

Last month, the group started throwing ashtrays and containers from tables after staff discouraged customers from giving them anything. One male staff member was also attacked.

Ms Li said the three police officers who came to the cafe around 4pm on Friday spoke to the five people, and told her all of them were given trespass notices.

Auckland’s Asian communities have been on edge following a spate of attacks.

A 22-year-old business student from China, who gave her name only as Nina, said her iPhone 6s was stolen about two weeks ago in Freyberg Square – near the Esquires cafe – by an apparently homeless person.

“I loaned him my phone because he said he needed to make an emergency call because his friend was having a heart attack,” she said. “But he took it and just ran away.”

She did not make a police report because she didn’t think they would do anything, but said the incident left her frightened.

Goro Usui, who owns Sushi Train Restaurant at Chancery Square, said his restaurants had also been hit by rough-sleepers.

He alleged that sushi, drinks and a tip box had been stolen, and toilets were periodically soiled by beggars.

“I have called the police more than 10 times, but most of the time, by the time the police get here, all the people are gone,” Mr Usui said.

There is no reason in New Zealand for beggars to exist. We have a comprehensive welfare system for people genuinely out of work, ill or otherwise unable to work.

We have state housing, welfare agencies and many more charities addressing issues of poverty.

When your beggars have smart phones you know it isn’t a poverty problem…it is a crime problem.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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