Take care over the holidays

By Deb Thurgood

This will be my last message for the year. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my column, for your community spirit and support.

I am personally grateful for the opportunity to communicate with you in this way and look forward to continuing in 2022. I hope you find our information interesting and useful. With Ryan Fleming being on other duties currently, I would also like to thank the Te Awamutu community on his behalf for the support you give him.

Ryan says, “hey everyone, thank you very much for a great year! I look forward to catching up with you all next year.”

Today, to close, I again need your assistance. With summer well underway we have had a big increase in boy racer activity with groups of 100 or more cars congregating predominantly in our rural areas. Popular locations are Arapuni, Te Pahu, Ngahinapouri, Maungakawa, Whitehall, Te Miro and Scotsman Valley Road. These large groups of cars usually travel in convoy, will park up together and do burnouts for a short time, then move on to the next spot.

I know there is periodically discussion on social media and elsewhere around locals being frustrated at the noise, pollution and general annoyance caused. So what can you do?

The offence of sustained loss of traction (that covers cars doing burnouts, rakis etc) leads to court, suspension of the person’s driver’s licence and the vehicle concerned being impounded. We need your good evidence if we are to hold the drivers to account however. When you see this type of activity, please call 111. Remember 111 is the number you phone when something is in progress, so it is happening at the time and you need Police attendance straight away. Calling 105 in this situation may slow the reporting process down. Any delay in a unit being despatched decreases the chance of us catching up with the boy racers where you saw them.

If this activity is happening in your area and you can safely get a video without being observed, all good. Remember that your safety is paramount, however. As a minimum, evidentially we need to know the location, vehicle registrations and descriptions, details of their actions and importantly, we need you t o be willing to make a signed witness statement and to give your evidence in court if required. As with all crime prevention, it requires a team effort between Police and the community.

One final reminder – If you are heading away over the holidays, minimise the signs that your house is unoccupied. Don’t close all the curtains, do leave a vehicle parked at your house, get someone to mow lawns if you will be away for an extended time and either stop mail delivery or have your mailbox emptied by a friend. Ensure you lock up your home and keep valuables out of sight. The same applies when you are away camping or holidaying too. It’s easy to get a bit relaxed about such things when in holiday mode.

From me to you, stay safe and have a happy, healthy and fun Christmas and New Year!

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