Security has been stepped up near a supermarket in a luxury housing estate due to threats from unruly gangs of young people converging on the neighborhood on weekends.
They are drawn to the concrete vanguard of the Co-op store in Rochester Riverside where they gather in large numbers to skateboard and drink alcohol.
Their presence near the multi-story parking lot of the station prompted the patrons of the newly opened store to step up security measures for staff and customers.
A security guard was hired to deter anti-social behavior and, when security concerns increased, he sometimes closed earlier.
A Co-op spokesperson said, “Safety is always the number one priority. There has been a wave of anti-social behavior in the region in recent weeks.
“Abuse and antisocial behavior towards traders should not be part of the job, and frontline traders should be able to go about their business and serve the community without fear. The store uses a series of measures to deter and prevent criminal behavior .
Earlier, Cllr Alex Paterson (Lab), who represents the city, said visitors felt intimidated by the anti-social behavior and some seniors and families with young children were turned off using facilities at Rochester Riverside.
During a visit to the area near the multi-story building, he spotted broken bottles, “fresh human waste” and said it reeked of “stale urine”.
He said: “As well as being totally unacceptable behavior, it is a disgusting welcome for visitors to Rochester.
“I will of course raise this issue with the police, but a more effective method would be for parents to know and care about their children’s whereabouts – rather than shrug their shoulders or close their eyes.”
The cooperative uses a range of security measures, including the latest CCTV cameras, communication headsets for all frontline workers, guards, Smartwater and body-worn cameras that can record audio and visual footage in real time at the push of a button.