Police impressed by holiday behaviour

Police say the summer festive period has been quiet, with only one arrest made outside High Life at Ascension Winery on New Year’s Eve.

Warkworth Police Sergeant Mark Stallworthy has worked New Year’s Eve for 14 years in a row and says this was his smoothest holiday period yet.

“We had every available staff member on deck, as well as 20 extra officers from throughout Rodney, Orewa and Whangaparaoa,” he says.

He says typically, dishonesty crime picks up around the holiday period with an influx of visitors, but compared to this time last year, crime was down 12 per cent. Sgt Stallworthy says this is due to an increase in police visibility with the number of police on duty 24/7 increasing from six in November 2018 to 15 now.

He says a continuing issue at Omaha is parents allowing unlicensed children to drive golf carts, which are technically motor vehicle.

“We get calls from the public and find up to nine kids stacked on a cart and driving them around town.
“Driving to the golf course on a cart as an adult, instead of loading it on a trailer, is reasonable use, but giving it to kids to joy ride is frowned upon.”

Meanwhile, the Warkworth station sent six constables to the Northern Bass festival in Hakaru to assist Mangawhai police.

Senior Constable Rob Cato says there were a number of checkpoints in the area, but only one intoxicated driver was picked up on their way to Northern Bass.

Snr Constable Cato says he is proud of how the Mangawhai community has conducted itself over the “silly season”, particularly the town’s young people.

“Everyone at the bus stop on the way to Northern Bass was very respectful.”

He says one issue during the peak holiday season was visitors using jet skis irresponsibly in the Mangawhai Harbour estuary.

“We had a real problem with people breaking the five-knot rule and not having an observer while towing a sea biscuit.

“I saw a jet ski doing 360 turns at speed while swimmers were crossing the estuary. That is a recipe for disaster.”

Snr Constable Cato says no infringements were handed out but, in future, there will be a crackdown by police, in conjunction with the harbourmaster.


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