Mother accuses Westfield of failing traumatised sons assaulted at mall

An Auckland mother is demanding answers from Westfield who she says failed her twin sons who were left traumatised after an assault on mall property.

A pair of shoes is at the centre of what has become a nightmare for a mother and her basketball-mad twin sons.

Leaving St Lukes mall wearing new shoes they had saved up for all year, the twins were assaulted by three teenage boys in broad daylight.

Their mother, Leah, said the boys punched and kicked her son, demanding their shoes.

"[They were] trembling, crying, very much in shock, and that night they woke up both of them quite a few times in the night," she told Newshub.

Footage, which Newshub can't show while police are investigating, was taken by security cameras that Leah says also filmed the offenders going back into the mall, where they remained for some time after the incident.

"I have talked to them at length about this, they said they had no powers to detain them and I said why didn't you call the police, it's still not clear," she said.

Westfield said its priority is the safety of its customers and the team immediately supported the teenagers and then escalated to police.

But Leah said she was told to call police herself when she arrived 40 minutes later.

"I was shocked 'you haven't called the police yet?... They waited and did nothing while these offenders walked back through this mall," said Leah.

Police say security guards are no different to members of the public in that they have no statutory power. But security guards can and should call police as soon as an incident like this occurs.

"I want to know the purpose of security in the mall, what is their main purpose?" asks Leah.

Westfield said it is support their customer experience teams in the centres.

Police are urging anyone who knows the trio to urgently get in touch and have released an image of the teenagers.

Mother accuses Westfield of failing traumatised sons assaulted at mall
Photo credit: Police

Leah recognises the red hat in the image. It's her son's, she said.

A reminder of an afternoon that she believes Westfield is determined to pretend never happened.