Arrests after Kawakawa arsons

A man has been arrested and three teenagers referred to Police Youth Services after a spate of arsons in the Bay of Islands town of Kawakawa.

An 18-year-old local man was charged with arson at the Kawakawa Superette on January 13 and burglaries of two commercial buildings. He has been remanded in custody until February 12.

Police have also spoken to a group of Kawakawa teens aged 13 to 16 who they believe were responsible for four deliberately lit fires in the area. Three have been referred to Police Youth Services.

Head of the investigation, Acting Detective Sergeant Greg Johnson, said it was sad young people are involved in the arsons.

"It is a very serious offence carrying a hefty penalty, but it is also such a danger to human life. Not only are they putting their own lives in jeopardy - they are risking the lives of their own whanau and community who turn out as volunteer firefighters."

Mr Johnson said inquiries into the fires will continue this week.

"The most important thing for us has been stopping this behaviour before someone gets seriously hurt.

We and the fire service will be taking a prevention approach with these kids and their families, making sure this doesn't happen again."


- Northern Advocate

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