Police targeting wider issues around window washers

Counties Manukau Police are trialling a new initiative aimed at reducing the wider issues being caused by window washers in the District.

Police have been closely watching the activities at the East Tamaki and Bairds Road intersection and are now issuing summonses and trespass notices when appropriate in a bid to help ease public concerns.

There is already an Auckland Council bylaw in place, which states that window washing is unlawful if it is deemed to be either unsafe, intimidating, causing nuisance or obstructing traffic.

Auckland Council remains the lead agency in enforcing the bylaw, and Police provide a support role.

However, there have been reports to Police of wider problems associated with window washers; including disorder, vehicle crime, assaults and wilful damage and it is these activities that Police are addressing.

“We are well aware of the frustrations faced by many members of the public because of window washers.

It’s dangerous for both the window washers and the motorists, with the activity being carried out on busy roads, especially in the dark and wet winter months,” says Senior Sergeant Neil Phillips, Manager of Youth and Community Services in Counties Manukau East.

“Neighbourhood Police Teams already allow Police to deploy dedicated community staff to the area every day in an effort to move window washers along and deal with any offences that they come across, but these new measures will offer more deterrence and make it difficult for them to carry out their tasks.

While the initiative is only in its early stages, we are starting to see some good results.

If it’s successful, it will likely be rolled out in other problem areas.”

Police have also carried out a youth workshop aimed at preventing window washing activity in the long term.

“The purpose of the workshop was to bring together a number of agencies to assist the youths in finding alternative employment or education,” says Senior Sergeant Phillips.

“We want to encourage them to find more appropriate and sustainable forms of employment.

Enforcement can only provide part of the solution.

The workshop was a real success.

We spoke with a range of youths, some as young as 14.

It was a great opportunity to engage with these young people in a positive way.”

Max Wilde, Manager of Bylaws and Compliance at Auckland Council says, “Auckland Council is working in partnership with Police across the region to address the issues of window washing at major intersections.

Council continues to take prosecution action where possible against repeat offenders in a bid to encourage alternative employment.”

Police continue to discourage members of the public from supporting this behaviour by giving window washers money. Motorists are urged to call 111 if they witness or experience any aggressive or dangerous behaviour from any person at an intersection. Police advise that any person who feels uncomfortable with having window washers approach their car keep their windows up and doors locked and make it clear that you do not wish to have your window washed.

Issued by Shelley Nahr/Communications Manager, Counties Manukau Police 021 595 562
You can also view this release, including any additional images, online at: http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/police-targeting-wider-issues-around-window-washers
Thanks, New Zealand Police

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