We’re appalled by the story about a drunken mob descending on a Palmerston North petrol service station last Saturday night.
The Manawatu Standard wrote:
“A mob of drunken youths stole hundreds of dollars worth of stock and left behind a trail of vomit and debris when they took their party to a Palmerston North service station.
“Staff at the Fitzherbert Ave Caltex spent the weekend cleaning up vomit, broken glass, and litter after a group of about 40 youths descended on the station on Saturday night… read more and see the CCTV pictures here
A large proportion of the population of Palmerston North is made up of students, and it is considered to be an important base for tertiary institutions. There’s nothing in the report to suggest those involved were students but we’re willing to bet that they were and they were out celebrating the end of their exams for the year, much like the youths that were partying hard in Christchurch last weekend. If the Palmy mob were students they’re unlikely to receive any punishment for their youthful ‘misdemeanors’.
Canterbury University’s annual Tea Party and Lincoln University’s Garden Party started on Friday morning and continued through the night. Most of the 40 students that were subsequently arrested were only given pre-charge warnings by the police, we think it’s highly likely that the youths in Palmerston North will received a similar punishment for their youthful hijinks.
But who decides on where to draw the line between mob rule and kids letting off steam, and where antisocial behaviour ends and criminal activity begins?
A large tranche of the country’s future ‘elite’ is allowed to get away with theft, damage and terrorising people going about their lawful business simply because they are boozed up students.
Is Palmerston North so dependent on student spending that it is prepared to turn a blind eye to criminal activities and public drunkenness? We’d like to hear from people living in the town, what do you think about student behaviour and how does it impact on your enjoyment of your town, do you feel that it is in the thrall of student sub-culture and how would you change it?
For other posts about Palmerston North click here.
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