Tagging youths found
A recent stay by visiting North Shore youths turned into a night of vandalism on March 2 as young adults aged 16-18 went on a tagging spree around Mangawhai Heads, targeting public and private property.
The local Community Patrol (CP) first came across the group of 12 males and females acting suspiciously in the parking lot of Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) around 10.30pm.
“When the patrol arrived, the teenagers piled into two cars and drove off,” Senior Constable Graham Gough says. “On inspection of MAZ, the two patrollers came across freshly painted tagging in the skate bowl and on several items of equipment.”
Both Mangawhai Heads Road and Jack Boyd Drive came under attack with real estate signs, dumpsters and port-a-loos sprayed with swear words and symbols. Trees along Evelyn Street were also stripped of their fruit and used as ammunition in a fight although whether the teen taggers were involved at this stage is only circumstantial.
“A resident now has the cost of having to paint a brand new fence,” Gough says. “There is also a concern that tagging sprees like this could jeopardize funding for MAZ which is supported because it is largely crime-free. We want to maintain the good behaviour and reputation of the place to keep funds coming in.”
The group, who were camping at a property in Jack Boyd Drive, were approached by the CP and reported to be ‘confrontational’.
“However through following lines of enquiry we have identified several of the young people. We have spoken to a couple of parents who were very shocked about the damage and they are now working on their children to help us find out more details,” Gough says. “We have also let them know how disgusted and disappointed the community is about the vandalism.”
Thefts too regular
Two water pumps have been stolen from houses in Mangawhai Heads Road and Leslie Street in the last three weeks.
Gough says the thefts are a semi-regular occurrence and he recommends, besides locking the pumps away out of sight if possible, marking the equipment and recording serial numbers for identification purposes.
A number of thefts of camping equipment including chilly bins, alcohol and BBQ’s was also reported at Mangawhai Heads campground over Waitangi Weekend.
However Gough says police have had a ‘fairly good summer’ crime-wise.
“We’re very fortunate with the general good behaviour in our community.”
- REPORTING/Julia Wade