Whip cracking sparks noise complaints
A new whip cracking craze sweeping Auckland is intimidating residents and sparking numerous noise complaints.
Over the past few months increasing numbers of youths have taken to streets and parks, cracking rolled up lavalavas and sheets like horsewhips.
Now schools are banning the whips before someone gets injured.
To make a whip children fold a sheet or lavalava diagonally, tie it at one end and crack them against the pavement which makes a loud firecracker sound.
Some residents want to see the craze banned outright, including Roy Bright from Mt Roskill, who took to Neighbourly.co.nz to vent his frustration.
‘‘It’s driving us up the wall where we live, it’s getting out of hand, Bright said.
‘‘It’s a disturbance so must be illegal.’’
Mt Roskill resident Lee Wong also wrote on Neighbourly how her young children were scared by the sound.
‘‘My 10-year-old boy hated it as it also disturbed his sleep.’’
Wong said a boy intimidated her four-year-old daughter by holding out the whip, she ran back crying and has been frightened since.
Both Mt Roskill primary and intermediate schools have banned whips at school.
Mt Roskill primary principal Mike O’Reilly said the craze had been going on for about three to four weeks.
‘‘They are normally made out of old sheets or lavalavas and are reasonably long, say around a metre,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve banned them at our school because the end of the whip breaks the sound barrier and a lot of little children are about. They are dangerous,’’ O’Reilly said.
Onehunga Primary have also banned whips and principal Viki Holley suspects the craze to die out over the summer holidays.
‘‘We banned them pretty much as soon as we became aware of them as they have the potential to really hurt a bystander,’’ she said.
There have been no reports of injury at either school.
Auckland Council has responded to about 20 noise complaints related to whips.
Council’s manager of environmental health, Mervyn Chetty said it was a new type of complaint.
Police in Mt Roskill and Avondale are aware of the the craze but have had no complaints.
Some schools have banned the use of whips as a safety precaution.