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Improved cheap train services are bringing hordes of youths bent on late-night mayhem into central Auckland from south and west suburbs.
Last Saturday’s Christmas in the Park had the potential to turn ugly as crowds of liquor-swilling thugs headed for the popular family entertainment event, attended by an estimated 100,000 people.
At one point after the event a roaming bunch of louts accosted event organiser Alan Smythe in Grafton before he was offered refuge in an apartment.
Mr Smythe declined to comment, except to say he was unaware of any trouble at the event and had no reports from police or event security of any incidents.
A Sunday newspaper reported police were investigated a woman’s complaint she had been abducted from the event.
One man whose family left Christmas in the Park shortly after 9pm spoke of “thousands” of young people, carrying liquor and drinking, swarming across Grafton Bridge heading for the Auckland Domain venue.
“This was a very big, ugly mob bent on mayhem,” the Devonport man told NBR ONLINE.
“We have been to Christmas in the Park in other years and never seen anything like this before.
“These people were not interested in the entertainment – they were looking for trouble.”
Another witness told NBR ONLINE Auckland’s improved train service was responsible for bringing large numbers of liquor-swilling, trouble-making youths to the central city and public events.
“Large numbers can get into the city easily and cheaply, cause a disturbance and disappear just as quick,” the witness says.
The popular event is sponsored by Coca Cola for what is said to be about $1 million.
Coca Cola Amatil corporate affairs head Suzy Clarkson says the company has had only good feedback, has heard nothing about any unruly incidents and that future sponsorship will not be affected.