Wind­screen washer sprays suds at kid

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - ELESHA ED­MONDS

A wind­screen washer squirted de­ter­gent at a child’s face in Auck­land af­ter their par­ent re­fused to pay them, po­lice say.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened at the Mt Welling­ton High­way in­ter­sec­tion - a hotspot for wind­screen wash­ers - on Novem­ber 5.

Sergeant Rhys Smith says a mo­torist had re­fused to pay a win­dow washer while wait­ing at the in­ter­sec­tion.

The win­dow washer then squirted a bot­tle of de­ter­gent, mixed with wa­ter, through an open win­dow into the face of a child sit­ting in the back seat.

The in­ci­dent is the latest in a num­ber of cases where wind­screen wash­ers have in­tim­i­dated mo­torists at busy Auck­land in­ter­sec­tions.

It comes as po­lice deal with a spate of crime around wash­ing hotspots in­clud­ing the Green­lane, Pen­rose and Great South Rd in­ter- sec­tions.

Sergeant Rhys Smith says wind­screen wash­ers are re­spon­si­ble for a num­ber crimes in the area, in­clud­ing shoplift­ing, car thefts and bur­glar­ies.

In one case, a car stolen from Green­lane was later found with win­dow wash­ing equip­ment stashed in the boot.

Wind­screen wash­ers have also been ac­cused of steal­ing brushes from petrol sta­tions, de­ter­gent from su­per­mar­kets and tak­ing soap from McDon­ald’s stores and pub­lic toi­lets.

Po­lice are plan­ning to crack down on wind­screen wash­ing how­ever, they do not have the power to do any­thing di­rectly about win­dow wash­ers.

Win­dow wash­ers fall un­der Auck­land Coun­cil’s Pub­lic Safety and Nui­sance By­law.

If they are found to re­peat­edly breach the by­law can be fined up to $20,000 by the courts.

Po­lice ex­pect win­dow wash­ing ac­tiv­ity to pick up due to the warmer weather and are urg­ing mo­torists not to pay wash­ers.

Smith says some mo­torists have a mis­con­cep­tion they are help­ing by pay­ing win­dow wash­ers.

‘‘We do have the ser­vices there to help these guys,’’ he says.

‘‘But they seem to think win­dow wash­ing is eas­ier than get­ting the ben­e­fit.’’

Call 111 or *555 if you feel in­tim­i­dated by a win­dow washer.

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