The Stephenville RCMP have charged a teenager under the Petty Trespass Act for loitering outside Tim Hortons restaurant on Main Street.
Police said they charged the 17-year-old boy in an effort to curtail a growing problem of persistent loitering, not only at Tim Hortons but at other locations in the town.
The police feel that by cracking down on loitering and laying charges it will be a deterrent to others. The teenager is due in court in November.
There are people in the community who feel this kind of activity has gone on for too long and applaud the police for making the move.
RCMP Cpl. Judy Morgan told the media it was a necessary move as more and more people have started hanging around in that particular parking lot during the past few months.
It has gotten to the point where some people don’t feel comfortable getting out of their vehicle and walking into the building because of those hanging around outside.
Police believe their actions should send the message to others, if they don’t want to suffer the same fate.
The practice of loitering and hanging out is not limited to teenagers, as there are some adults who also frequent restaurant and other parking lots. Some of them are even asking for money and this is bothersome to people who just want to go about their business without being hassled.
It’s too bad that it had to come to charges being laid, but it’s likely nothing will change without some type of a crackdown and unfortunately sometimes people have to be hit in the wallet before they get the message.
Only time will tell is this is an effective means of dealing with this problem.