Night curfew for youngsters supported

By James Fuller


Curfews should be enforced to prevent the anti-social behaviour of groups of noisy youths ruining people's quality of life, says a Tauranga mother.

Nicola Andrews and her family moved to Gate Pa from Te Puke a year ago and she says they have been harassed ever since.

"There's a group of young children in the street, some as young as three years old, out at all hours of the day and night when they've got school the next day.

"They should be in bed. I've got two children, a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old, and they are in bed asleep by 8.30pm.

"We moved so that our children could have a better future but every second night you've got groups of kids roaming about making noise, causing trouble, whipping shirts or towels at each other," she said.

"There's a river running down below us where kids go swimming after school until as late as 10.30pm. There's usually about 10 to 15 children down there."

When the family first moved, their property was targeted by youths who threw stones at the house and shed.

Harassment extended to the family's pet. "Kids will come by and rark our dog up. Our friend across the road says they do that during the day as well when we're not here. He's a german shepherd/huntaway cross. He's a lovely natured dog but when we're not home he's on guard duty. If they rarked him up so much and he got out why should we be responsible for what happens?"

Mrs Andrews believes street curfews should be implemented, with the police having the power to order children back to their homes after a certain time at night.

The Bay of Plenty Times reported in a special report on Merivale last month that children as young as 10 roam the streets at night in that area and two local mums want a curfew in place to stop it.

"The kids just don't seem to have any respect for anything any more," says Mrs Andrews.

"A lot of the time the parents just don't care either. They're not bothered what their kids are up to as long as they're out of their hair.

"We live in a home which was burned down because a child was playing with matches in one of the bedrooms. That sort of thing can happen when kids are not supervised."

Mrs Andrews, who works at The Fresh Market in Gate Pa Shopping Centre, says store owners at the shopping centre also experienced problems.

"There's been problems with vandalism of cars at night, plants being ripped out, that sort of thing. There are kids roaming around there all the time. It intimidates the older people especially.

"We get groups of kids coming into the shop and you don't really know what they're there for.

"We have to keep an eye on them because you don't know what they're walking out with."

Read our Inside Story about youth crime and community initiatives here...

- Bay of Plenty Times

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