Locals are calling for action after reports of worrying, suspicious behaviour in central Tamahere and trash littering the skate park.
Tamahere School principal Waveney Parker today alerted the community to people “acting suspiciously in the bushes located at the corner of Devine and Newell Road.
“It is speculated that the activity is associated with drug use,” she said.
“Apparently some children walking home from school recently were startled when a man clambered out of the bushes. We have also been advised that a male has been seen smoking a meth pipe in that area. These incidents have been reported to the Police on their 105 number.”
Local Grant Schou is also calling for security cameras at the playground and skatepark to help identify thieves and litterers.
“Folk would already know that two sets of hammocks and steel barriers were stolen from the area,” he said.
“The grounds are a disgrace with folk using the new skate park throwing rubbish everywhere. People have been doing burnouts in the car park area and someone has even stolen the metal grate over the stormwater drain and a car’s wheel has fallen into it.
“It’s just so disgusting and infuriating to see Tamahere residents’ rates and a nice area being abused,” Schou said. “Cameras are needed to catch the culprits.”
Tamahere councillor Aksel Bech responded to the concerns, telling Tamahere Forum that “absolutely we want to work together as a community to stamp this out before it has a chance to become established.
“I encourage reporting all such matters on the 105 number including recording rego plates if there is a vehicle involved,” he said.
Bech, the Waikato district deputy mayor, said that this morning he had put a request through to the Police’s District Commander to ask that Tamahere have more “drive-by” patrols to discourage the bad behaviour.
“We simply don’t want it here,” he said.
He and the Tamahere Community Committee (TCC) were also in discussions with the district council regarding installation of security cameras at the playground, piazza and skatepark areas.
“Cameras are not expensive anymore but actually monitoring them and responding if something happens in real time is the real deterrent and where the real cost lies,” Bech said.
The council has a Camera Trust that operates in some of the district’s towns, including Huntly and Ngaruawahia, and Bech and the TCC were checking whether it could also serve Tamahere, he said.
Bech acknowledged the “nuisance/littering issues” in the public areas but said “to be fair, issues have not been major and are well “policed” by other members of our local community speaking up when they see anti-social behaviour happening.”
More signs were on the way as were replacement items for the twice-stolen hammocks, he said.
“Overall, I want to stress that the TCC and me, personally, are really pleased with how this new “heart” of our community is working – such a welcome addition and, like many other locals, I am looking forward to seeing concrete starting to be poured in June for the new pub/café!”