Anger at Flaxmere window smashing spree

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Flaxmere's St Vincent de Paul manager George David said all the charity shop's windows were smashed in the latest hit. Photo / Paul Taylor

By Nicki Harper

The Flaxmere community is losing patience with groups of young people who have been smashing shop and building windows around the centre of the village over the past few weeks.

The latest vandalism happened between 12.30am and 1am on Saturday, locals said.

Yesterday morning repairs were being made to windows at the St Vincent de Paul, Bay Sushi, Flaxmere Dental and Learning Innovations premises.

It was the fourth time Bay Sushi's windows have been smashed and a staff member said it was getting very frustrating.

"They did it for nothing - they did not even break in.

"The landlord is getting very annoyed at constantly having to repair the windows that are being broken at the same time on Saturday and Sunday mornings."

They said the trouble started last year and "it's going on and on".

St Vincent de Paul manager George David said one window was broken about a week ago, but all the shop's windows were smashed in the latest hit.

"Everybody is very disappointed, they are asking 'why is this happening?'." he said.

Security patrols and CCTV cameras are set up around the area so he could not understand how the vandals were getting away with it.

"It's not a good look for Flaxmere - these youths do not seem to have any respect."

Another person spoken to yesterday said the windows were being smashed with rocks.

He said he went to the village shopping precinct on Saturday night and 14 to 15 boys and girls were hanging around there and the skate bowl. Some were on the roof of the New World, which had also been targeted over recent weeks.

Hawke's Bay police sergeant Dean Lyall confirmed the police were investigating wilful damage in Flaxmere village over the past month.

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"We believe they have occurred after 9pm at weekends, and while police have identified a number of persons of interest, evidence is still being compiled and the investigation is ongoing."

He said extra police patrols had been organised for Flaxmere and community patrols were also assisting.

"Police recognise that these incidents are frustrating for business owners."

Along with the shops, community facilities such as the Flaxmere Library, Swim Heretaunga, and the Boxing Academy at the back of the Community Centre have also been repeatedly attacked, and recently a fire was set at the skate bowl.

Hastings District Council facility manager Alison Banks said the community was very upset.

"This is not normal behaviour and we need the parents of these children to put a stop to their offspring roaming around at night doing damage to buildings that are there for our community to use," she said.

Footage from CCTV cameras was being supplied to police.

So far the cost to repair the pool windows alone had reached $10,000.

"There seems to be no real reason for this vandalism and it is very disappointing. We all pay for council facilities, whether through rates or rent, and all these kids are doing is adding to that bill."

Hastings district councillor Henare O'Keefe, who founded the Boxing Academy, said the vandalism could not just be left to the police.

"As a community we have to band together - someone will know who these people are and we have to make them accountable in some way."

He also suggested that changing the behaviour involved not only dealing with the young people, but also getting their parents and families on board.

"There are no guarantees but if you don't go down that road these kids don't stand a chance."

If you have information, call Hastings Central Police Station (06) 831 0700, or details can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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11 Comments

Danny

- Hastings
07:19 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
How about more jobs for young people? If you have a job and you want to keep it, you don't wander the streets at night with nothing better to do.

William

-
07:19 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
I've just been told the HDC's CC TV is just an unmonitored dummy one and is only there as a deterrent, what a complete waste of time, but luckily the complexes owners have a recording one and the CD has been handed over to the Police, I hear that 1 person has been arrested and another is on the radar so it's all looking good if that is the right wording, perhaps we should send the bill to Sue Bradford!! plus Kaikohe's and a few others.

M.Russel

-
07:18 pm Wednesday 22 March 2017
Roving baseball bat patrols. End of problem.

NZJester

- New Zealand
10:01 pm Tuesday 21 March 2017
These kind of things are the long term effect of National party policies (A War on the Poor). The older kids are sometimes left to fend for themselves as National forces both parents to work as one income is a lot of the time to little to live on as they are among the growing class of working poor.There are no services, after-school programs or community events for them to attend to occupy their time constructively. The parents have little money to spare for the kids sometimes so they wander the streets. They start to form groups that turn into gangs or get enticed into existing gangs. There are also no longer the community constables on the streets to keep an eye on them to keep them getting into trouble. Police budgets have been cut and law enforcement only tends to come across these kids once they are too far into the gang or criminal life and caught committing serious crimes.

Donut.

-
10:01 pm Tuesday 21 March 2017
The reason for all this vandalism, and it is happening in Kaikohe as well, is that there is no discipline being meted out to young people anymore. Not in the home, not at school, and then they are let loose when they finish school. Years ago, the children were disciplined all the time and knew their boundaries, and if they hadn't learnt right from wrong by the time they were 18, the compulsory military training certainly sorted them out. They think they can get away with anything now, and when caught, the punishment is so weak that they think it's a great joke. About time CMT came back.

William

-
10:01 pm Tuesday 21 March 2017
I am led to believe that we simply say hello to these lowe life brainless un parented idiot's and get on with what we we are about, they are probably in fact more than likely! the same unparented Sods the infiltrate the elderly pensioner flats, and cause damage and fear among the residents, I believe the only way to combat this is to organise a rostered patrol by Residents who care about the community.

Andrew Costello

-
04:37 pm Tuesday 21 March 2017
This is going on all over the world. It is the same in the USA, where I am currently living. Mobs of spoiled brats who have had everything handed to them all their lives, and never had to work for anything, going around destroying anything they can get away with destroying, smoking dope and claiming subsidies. And let's be honest, they know nothing will happen to them if they get caught. That's why they do it. Thanks to all the do-gooder liberals.

Happy Chappy

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04:37 pm Tuesday 21 March 2017
No surprise here and it's not just Flaxmere, same thing happening in Tamatea and other Napier suburbs. Well we reap what we sow. Anti smacking bill rejected by 80% of population but forced on us by Labour with full support of National and other legislation mean that kids have no boundaries or consequences and they know it. Run a muck and at 18 get clean slate. So a big thank you to National, Labour and greens, your social engineering experiment gets a big fat 0 in my book. We need some fresh leaders who are not bogged down by past mistakes they will not admit to. A vote for national, labour or the greens is a vote to continue down the very same path we are on, and I have one last question. How's that working out?

colin

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04:36 pm Tuesday 21 March 2017
Another example of terrible parenting! Never had consequences in their lives!! Time to give them some real serious ones!!!

akiwi

- Hastings
04:36 pm Tuesday 21 March 2017
Never mind, if these thugs are ever identified there will be someone out there who will give them a big hug and tell them they care. (and offer an excuse other than personal responsibility for their behaviour)

The Caveman

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09:59 am Tuesday 21 March 2017
Result, IF caught - will be a wet bus ticket ................. again! Its about time that these kids AND their parents are publicly named.

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