Businesses in the Tranquille Market are struggling with increases in prostitution, drug use and "aggressive and negative loitering," according to survey results released by the North Shore Business Improvement Association (see full survey results below).
Of more than 140 businesses that responded to the survey (76 per cent of which were located in the Tranquille Market), 78 per cent reported problems with loitering and drug use and 54 per cent reported an increase in vandalism.
Asked if they were seeing "drug use debris" such as needles discarded around their businesses, 59 per cent said they were often seeing drug paraphernalia. Another 23 per cent said they sometimes noticed needles. Fifty-eight per cent of businesses said the debris is often an ongoing concern, with 20 per cent reporting it is sometimes a concern.
Businesses also reported concerns with graffiti, with 33 per cent of responders saying they have been tagged often and 35 per cent saying they are sometimes tagged.
Of responders, 54 per cent said they do not feel problems on the streets have the attention of any level of government.
In a release, NSBIA general manager Stephen Puhallo said follow-up calls with businesses showed those located in the Brocklehurst Shopping Centre and other areas of the North Shore are not seeing the same issues to similar degrees.
Within the Tranquille Market, Puhallo said issues appear to be most concentrated between Yew Street and Overlanders Bridge.
"Our businesses do not see this as solely a 'North Shore problem,' but for our purpose and area, more defined to one section of one commercial district within our business improvement area," the survey results state.
A second survey for North Shore customers, to which 1,000 people responded, also showed concerns about drug use and loitering, with 59 per cent of customers reporting problems often and 32 per cent saying drug use and loitering were sometimes a problem.
The majority of respondents said both issues had discouraged them from shopping on the North Shore at least some of the time (46 per cent sometimes, 38 per cent often).
The NSBIA board of directors now plans to undertake the survey annually for use as a benchmarking tool.