Wash­ers tar­geted

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By ELE­SHA ED­MONDS

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.’’

Photo: JAY BORE­HAM / FAIR­FAX NZ

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.

Photo: ELE­SHA ED­MONDS / FAIR­FAX NZ

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.

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