WINDOW washers are being prosecuted as Auckland Council cracks down on those who harass motorists at intersections.
Police received 117 calls about the behaviour of window washers in May. Fortyeight were related to the intersection of Greenlane Rd and Great South Rd.
A further 34 came from the intersection of Penrose Rd and Mt Wellington Highway.
The council’s bylaws and compliance manager Max Wilde says the complaints are from ‘‘frustrated motorists who are concerned and often intimidated by the behaviour of window washers’’.
The council recently moved to crack down on rogue washers, and warned that repeat offenders who demand payment from drivers can fall under the council’s Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw.
Anyone breaching the bylaw can now be fined up to $20,000 by the courts.
Wilde says 20 people have been prosecuted since the bylaw came into effect in May last year.
A window washer at the Mt Wellington intersection, who asked to be known as Jonathan, says the bylaw won’t stop him.
‘‘I can understand why it’s there, but I don’t really care,’’ he says.
‘‘I’ve got whatever I need at the end of the day, so I’m good.’’
The 14-year-old says he chooses to wash windscreens because he is not old enough to get a job.
Fish and chip shop owner Di Wu says a group of eight or nine washers arrives at the intersection at 7am nearly every day and is there until around 9pm.
Wu says he approached the group after some of his customers complained. He says some of them explained that if they couldn’t earn money this way, they were ‘‘going to steal or something’’.
A joint police and council operation at the Mt Wellington intersection caught 13 window washers in two days.
Inspector Ross Barnaby says a large number of them had outstanding criminal matters. ‘‘We have come across young people who should be at school, including a 13-year-old who had been reported missing by his parents.’’
Wilde says drivers have an important part to play in helping to resolve the problem. ‘‘Stop giving money to the individuals.’’
Auckland Council recently moved to crack down on window washers, under the council’s Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw.
Fish and chip shop owner Di Wu says a group of window washers works at the Mt Wellington intersection nearly every day.
Police received 34 complaints about the behaviour of window washers at aMt Wellington intersection in May.
A window washer at the intersection of Penrose Rd and Mt Wellington Highway.