REPORTING BY JULIA WADE
Recreational drugs concer
“Behaviour from people attending music events at Mangawhai Tavern was excellent… and Northern Bass went off really well with only a few arrests.”
Drug intake has been a particular concern for police this season, especially after findings by non-profit organisation ‘Knowyourstuff’ (who voluntarily test the content of party drugs at festivals) show some pills have been found to contain increased levels of MDMA, i.e. ecstasy or molly, than previous years. High doses of the drug can cause more erratic and alarming behaviours, hospitalisation and sadly, even death.
On December 27, Police were called to a Hakaru property on Settlement Road, after an inebriated 35-year-old woman wandered into the private premises and ended up assaulting the female occupant, who was trying to help her. The woman was restrained by two male occupants of the house until police arrived and was arrested and taken to Whangarei police station for detox.
“She was absolutely off her trolley,” Gough says. “These drugs can cause drastic effects and a range of uncharacteristic misconduct behaviours.”
Users at festivals across the country were advised to get substances checked before digesting.
Drink & speed disappoints
On approaching a checkpoint on Insley Street, one driver decided he would be better off to avoid the breathalysers, a decision that ended with him rolling his car and seeing his three passengers and himself having a trip to Whangarei hospital for minor injuries.
“He failed to stop… but must have been travelling too fast as he became a bit airborne at one point among the mangroves,” said Senior Constable Gough.
Speed checkpoints along Molesworth Drive have also resulted in a large number of drivers being issued tickets for travelling more than 4kph over the required limits. The lean tolerance level is a nationwide attempt by police to get drivers to become mindful of their driving speed to help reduce the road toll after the country’s heavy road casualties in 2017.
Illegal parking clogs beach
“I received numerous complaints from residents and beachgoers with prams and wheelchairs who had trouble accessing the beach due to cars parked illegally on the pavement along Wintle Street,” he says. “I know it is difficult to find a park at this time of year but young families and people in wheelchairs shouldn’t have to walk on the road, negotiating traffic, just to get to the beach.”
Gough says he was also concerned that council had no parking enforcement in the area through the busy time.
“I had to act and write some parking tickets myself, a job we don’t usually do,” he says. “Council have taken photos of the 40-50 cars illegally parked and the owners will also be receiving infringement notices in the mail.”
Jet ski daylight robbery
Vandals target Mangawhai
Vandalism has been a problem over the holiday season with tagging on road signs including the corner of Tara and Cove Roads. Mangawhai Activity Zone also became a target of vandals with graffiti sprayed around the skate park and shards of broken bottles scattered throughout the skate bowl in late December.
“It’s very disappointing,” Senior Constable Gough says. “At this stage there is no reason to believe the damage is from locals… the tagging points more to offenders from Auckland as it is similar to a style found in another skate park down there. If any parents are aware of their child being involved in this vandalism, we would like to hear from them.”
A variety of items have been handed into the Police including wallets, jewellery and even a pushchair. Please contact Mangawhai Police for more information on 423 1060.
- PHOTO/Anna Williams