POLL: Call to 'clean up' Crown Street Mall

The expletive-laden conduct of "undesirables" in Wollongong's Crown Street Mall has come under scrutiny from a social media citizens' group aimed at civilising the shopping strip.

The group's Facebook page, called Move the junkies out of the Wollongong Mall & CBD, is a response to "drug-affected, undesirables who congregate and infect the local community".

The page includes candid video of a Jerry Springer-style exchange between two potty-mouthed parties seated on the mall's benches.

The page's unidentified creator explains: "Shoppers and staff constantly experience violent behaviour, language and outbursts with the occasional drug induced pass out resulting in medical services having to be called.

"In November the no-smoking legislation was introduced with some of the persons in question telling local mall security guards that they would 'do what they want' and 'just try stopping me' - among other things.

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"Wollongong Council, police and local security/mall operators need to take charge of the situation for the greater benefit of the CBD and the region as a whole."

The page has attracted support from more than 1000 people since it appeared earlier this week.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, who has visited the page, said the video footage showed behaviour at odds with efforts to revitalise the CBD.

"I know some people's behaviour is very confronting but it is a public space and I also have to respect people's freedom," he said.

"To tell you the truth my hands are tied. The council doesn't have any powers to arrest people or move people on or anything like that. That's all a police responsibility."

Cr Bradbery agreed enforcing the mall's new no-smoking rules needed "sharpening up".

He welcomed the Facebook page as potentially forming part of the solution, suggesting it could "remind people they are being watched".

"I think the page might generate some discussion in the community and also put some pressure on people to curb their inappropriate behaviour," he said.

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