Puke­ta­papa party crack down

Central Leader - - AUCKLAND LOCAL BODY ELECTIONS - HUGH COLLINS

Large groups of youth look­ing to party on the Waikowhai Coast should look else­where.

The Puke­ta­papa Lo­cal Board has al­lo­cated fund­ing to de­ter and mon­i­tor bois­ter­ous af­ter-dark be­hav­iour at parks in Lyn­field and Mt Roskill along the Manukau Har­bour coast­line.

Board mem­ber Michael Wood says po­lice are un­der-re­sourced to deal with large gath­er­ings which of­ten ac­com­pany anti-so­cial be­hav­iour such as drug deals and street rac­ing.

‘‘It’s a con­stant prob­lem we’re deal­ing with at these lit­tle iso­lated spots along the coast ... there’s clearly a big­ger so­cial prob­lem that we need to get some so­lu­tions to, but in the mean­time we can’t just leave the res­i­dents to put up with it.’’ Wood says the board has al­lo­cated $4000 for a se­cu­rity firm to do pa­trols across the area on Fri­day and Satur­day nights through­out the day­light sav­ings pe­riod. ’’Po­lice just gen­er­ally can’t get there at night so we’ve had to look at other op­tions ... we’ve in­ves­ti­gated CCTV but in the mean­time this was the best so­lu­tion, get­ting these lo­cal board funded se­cu­rity pa­trols to come round at ran­dom times at night to de­ter the be­hav­iour.’’

Three thou­sand dol­lars has been al­lo­cated for ran­dom pa­trols, while $1000 will be for re­spon­sive pa­trols where res­i­dents will be able to call for im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance if needed.

‘‘We’re treat­ing it as a bit of a pi­lot over this day­light sav­ings to see how ef­fec­tive it is,’’ Wood says.

‘‘As much as any­thing it’s about hav­ing a con­stant pres­ence, a con­stant eyes-and-ears. And if peo­ple see that they’re less likely to come to these places and do things they shouldn’t be do­ing.’’

But Wood says this is fill­ing a ‘‘gap’’ the lo­cal board shouldn’t be hav­ing to fill. Po­lice pres­ence in the area is stretched and un­der­re­sourced with only three pa­trol cars on duty at night from Portage Rd in the west to Pah Rd in the east.

‘‘If you only have three pa­trol cars at night they’re go­ing to be go­ing to se­ri­ous do­mes­tic as­saults, rob­beries, vi­o­lent things and they’re never go­ing to be able to get to these sort of anti-so­cial be­hav­iours.

‘‘We’d rather the po­lice were be­ing funded for this kind of thing but we’ve got a prob­lem, we know lo­cal po­lice are too stretched, they can’t get there so you’ve got to be prag­matic and do some­thing to try and as­sist.’’

HUGH COLLINS

Puke­ta­papa Lo­cal Board mem­bers David Holm and Michael Wood.

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