Businesses in Palmerston North shopping centre 'horrified' following alleged trashing and attacks on staff

Businesses in a Palmerston North shopping centre are devastated after a group of teenagers allegedly trashed a number of eateries and assaulted staff.

Shop owners told Newshub 30 teenagers started smashing glass food containers and cases, throwing them at staff and kicking them. 

Police were called to the incident following several reports of shops being damaged at the downtown shopping complex. 

A Police spokesperson said in a statement to Newshub a number of the teens escaped and were not able to be located. 

The spokesperson added two girls were arrested with one being charged with assault, trespassing and shoplifting.

The other was taken into custody and has since been referred to Youth Aid. 

"Police are concerned about the nature of the incident and will be making further inquiries to identify who was involved."

Sweet dreams, one bakery affected by the alleged incident shared a post on Facebook saying "the damage done was huge and sadly we are beyond horrified" and "at this stage, we are unable to operate". 

Nourish Cafe and Deli were also hit by the incident and said "we can not tolerate this".

"Because of this and the need to keep my staff safe, Nourish Cafe and Deli will be closing at 4pm every day until further notice."

Police are urging Palmerston North locals who see any suspicious or unlawful behaviour to dial 111. 

"So we have an opportunity to hold offenders to account."