Van­dals strike CBD yet again

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

An 18-year-old man has been ar­rested af­ter an­other van­dal­ism ram­page in the Porirua city cen­tre.

Sev­eral busi­nesses in Porirua’s Lyd­ney Place South were tar­geted late on Thurs­day evening.

The dam­age was es­ti­mated to be about $10,000. Shopfront win­dows and doors were smashed.

The Porirua Trade and Com­merce build­ing and Good 2 U store were two of five build­ings most af­fected. Dam­age to Good 2 U was es­ti­mated at $5000.

Kiwi Prop­erty owns all but one of the af­fected build­ings.

A Porirua man was ar­rested and ap­peared in Porirua District Court on Fri­day.

Kapiti Mana Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant James McKay said po­lice would be mon­i­tor­ing the man while in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tin­ued.

Ian Robert­son, fa­cil­ity man­ager for Kiwi Prop­erty, which owns North City Shop­ping Cen­tre, said it was the third time in about four months dam­age had been done to build­ings in the area, but pre­vi­ous in­ci­dents had not been so de­struc­tive.

‘‘This is a com­mu­nity is­sue, not just some­thing for land­lords and own­ers to deal with,’’ Robert­son said.

‘‘From time to time we get groups of peo­ple with no di­rec­tion in life and they run amok. There’s no ac­count­abil­ity for them.’’

Robert­son said po­lice did ev­ery­thing they could and were very proac­tive when it came to this sort of crime.

Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Tracy John­son said it was in­cred­i­bly dis­ap­point­ing.

‘‘Re­tail­ers are dev­as­tated. But the un­der­ly­ing mes­sage is if peo­ple have in­for­ma­tion or see some­thing hap­pen­ing, they should re­port it,’’ John­son said.

She said the po­lice, coun­cil and busi­ness own­ers needed to dis­cuss whether the is­sue was be­ing han­dled prop­erly.

OTHER IN­CI­DENTS

Curry Vil­lage in the Porirua CBD had a ter­ri­ble end to 2015 – the restau­rant was bro­ken into three times within 10 days. Van­dals smashed the glass front doors of the Hartham Place premises, forc­ing the own­ers to re­pair the dam- age while con­tin­u­ing to op­er­ate as a busi­ness.

Other re­cent van­dal­ism has oc­curred at Bil­lis Bou­tique in Cob­ham Court and the for­mer Coin Save in the city cen­tre.

The Can­nons Creek Sal­va­tion Army head­quar­ters was bro­ken into in Novem­ber. The or­gan­i­sa­tion was hit three times last year. Its fam­ily store in Els­don was also bro­ken into twice.

PHOTO: DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

Work­men re­placed win­dows and doors in the CBD af­ter the van­dal­ism ram­page last Thurs­day evening.

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