Police warn motorists not to pay window washers

A window washer, not involved in the attack, at a busy junction. Police have warned motorist not get out of their cars when approached by window washers. Photo / File
A window washer, not involved in the attack, at a busy junction. Police have warned motorist not get out of their cars when approached by window washers. Photo / File

Auckland City Police are advising motorists not to pay window washers and to stay in their cars if approached, following an incident in Greenlane last night.

At 10.30pm last night Police were called to the intersection of Great South Road and Greenlane West.

A man waiting in his car at the lights had refused to let the window washers wash his windscreen.

The man got out of his car and was then allegedly hit over the head with a window cleaning brush.

Police arrived and the group of window washers fled.

Officers ran after one of the men and two others were apprehended a short time later as Police searched the wider area.

One of the men was found to have property on him.

Officers investigated where this property was from and found the items had been stolen during a burglary of a house on Great South Road, the night before.

The victim was taken to hospital and received treatment for a wound to his head.
He was released from hospital early this morning.

The 17 year-old Takanini man has been charged with burglary and assault with a weapon.

The two other men were later released by Police.

"Window washers are intimidating and we are continuing to work with Auckland Council to stop them.

There is some practical advice we can give to motorists which we hope will lead to a reduction in their attempts; don't engage with them at all if possible and don't pay them.
If they're making money they will keep doing it," says Inspector Andy King, Auckland City Police.

Police frequently receive calls for service from members of the public about window washers, at locations across greater Auckland.

This can range from intimidating behaviour to the risk they cause traffic by darting around moving cars.

Police have recently started arranging for service stations to have window washing brushes marked or engraved.

When the marked brushes are found in the possession of window washers, officers will look to charge them with theft or receiving stolen property.

Continuous patrols around the affected intersections are ongoing, and where possible, Police will look to move the window washers on.

Where they are young persons under the age of 17, Police will look to return them home or to school.

Auckland Council, which oversees the Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw that makes it an offence to window wash at intersections in an unsafe and intimidating manner, has pursued prosecution, or is in the process of pursuing prosecution, in 71 cases, with a total of 132 charges for breach of the bylaw.

Police and the council are continuing to work together to identify offenders and prosecute them under the bylaw.

"This is an ongoing challenge for us and we are putting a lot of work into stopping window washers, however in the meantime we ask the public to help us by making it not worth their while, don't pay them and don't engage with them," says Inspector King.

- NZME.

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