Puketapapa party crack down
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.’’
Puketapapa Local Board members David Holm and Michael Wood.