Rocky start to night in the park

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - ALICE ANGELONI

Shrieks of glee prompted a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion as an in­no­cent child­hood game got off to a rocky start.

Anx­ious res­i­dents near Blen­heim’s Har­ling Park con­tacted po­lice af­ter hearing screams of children echo­ing in the dark.

Three of­fi­cers promptly re­sponded to the Satur­day evening call out, only to dis­cover what neigh­bours thought were screams of ter­ror were sim­ply shouts of joy from four children hid­ing glow-in-the-dark rocks.

Mother Nicky Hall says her and part­ner Bruce Moon’s children were hav­ing so much fun hid­ing the spe­cially painted stones.

But she says she owed the of­fi­cers an ex­pla­na­tion when they turned-up to in­ves­ti­gate the noise.

‘‘I had to ex­plain that we were here to do the hid­ing of rocks,’’ she says, re­fer­ring to the cre­ative craze which has gripped Marl­bor­ough over re­cent months.

‘‘I found this glow-in-the-dark spray-paint at Bun­nings and I thought we would take the kids out for an evening to hide rocks,’’ Hall says.

Af­ter show­ing their rocks to the po­lice, she ex­plained that her son, Zeck Dea­con, who has an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity, was very ex­cited and ‘‘do­ing a lot of the yelling.’’

She says de­spite the false alarm, the po­lice of­fi­cers were great with the children, telling them some­one had been wor­ried be­cause of the noise they had been mak­ing.

They then took the time to show them some of their equip­ment and an­swer some of Zeck’s ques­tions.

‘‘They got him to talk to the lady from the comms. They had a lit­tle chat say­ing that some­one was re­ally wor­ried and that we shouldn’t do so much yelling.

‘‘It was very nice, very cute,’’ says Hall.

The fam­ily are mem­bers of so­cial me­dia’s Marl­bor­ough Rocks Face­book group. The craze sees peo­ple dec­o­rate rocks and hid them for oth­ers to find.

Late last year, Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Coun­cil banned the rock hid­ing prac­tice in three dif­fer­ent parks, fear­ing they would get flicked up by a lawn­mower and hit some­one, or a spark from a mower blade hit­ting a rock could start a fire.

But the new rules failed to dampen the fun.

Hall says the of­fi­cers were de­lighted to see the children out­side hav­ing fun and not sit­ting at home in front of the tele­vi­sion.

‘‘We thanked them for do­ing their job and said we ap­pre­ci­ated it,’’ she says.

Nobody was avail­able from Blen­heim Po­lice Sta­tion to com­ment.

PHOTO: SCOTT HAM­MOND/STUFF

Po­lice were called to in­ves­ti­gate af­ter shouts were heard, from left, Jazmine Moon 10, Tyson Moon 8, Zeck Dea­con 14, and Ar­wen Dea­con 11 while hid­ing rocks.

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