Fines for win­dow wash­ers?

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - CA­TRIN OWEN

Win­dow wash­ers could be stung with $150 spot fines un­der a new bill which passed its first read­ing in Par­lia­ment last week.

The bill, sub­mit­ted by Na­tional MP Jami-Lee Ross, has sup­port from Na­tional and Labour.

Ross wants wind­screen wash­ing at in­ter­sec­tions to be made il­le­gal, giv­ing po­lice the power to is­sue wash­ers with $150 in­stant fines.

Rules around win­dow wash­ers fall un­der coun­cil by­laws. If wash­ers re­peat­edly breach the by­law they can be fined up to $20,000 by the courts.

Last year ACT Party leader David Sey­mour or­gan­ised a com­mu­nity meet­ing ad­dress­ing the prob­lems around Auck­land’s Green­lane in­ter­change win­dow wash­ing gangs.

In July wind­screen wash­ers were ac­cused of at­tack­ing schoolchildren - in­clud­ing four girls who were robbed while walk­ing home from school.

Sey­mour said not hav­ing win­dow wash­ing il­le­gal made it hard for po­lice.

‘‘There has been se­ri­ous crime re­lated to the win­dow wash­ing.’’

The bill needs 61 votes to move to se­lect com­mit­tee where the pub­lic will be asked to make sub­mis­sions.

It passed its first of three read­ings by 93 votes to 28.

Ep­som com­mu­nity con­sta­ble Chris Gwilliam said wind­screen wash­ing was still an is­sue at the Green­lane in­ter­sec­tion and areas such as Great South Road in Coun­ties Manukau.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously it’s very sea­sonal and there will be a de­crease as the weather gets worse but even if it’s still rain­ing there will be some out there.’’

Gwilliam said po­lice con­ducted daily pa­trols in the prob­lem areas but it was hard as they had no power. He would wel­come the power to im­pose a $150 spot fine.

Sey­mour and Gwilliam both raised the prospect of is­su­ing fines to peo­ple who pay win­dow wash­ers.

‘‘They are feed­ing the prob­lem and the law would give peo­ple an ex­cuse to say no,’’ Sey­mour said.

Labour’s po­lice spokesman Stu­art Nash said mak­ing wind­screen wash­ers il­le­gal was a prag­matic so­lu­tion. The Green Party op­posed the bill and MP Jan Logie said it risked be­ing an ‘‘at­tack on the poor’’.

The bill was sup­ported by Na­tional, Labour, Act and United Fu­ture but op­posed by the Green Party, Maori Party and NZ First.

JAY BORE­HAM/FAIRFAX NZ

A bill be­fore Par­lia­ment pro­poses to clean the streets of wind­screen wash­ers by mak­ing it il­le­gal, giv­ing po­lice the power to is­sue $150 spot fines.

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