Owner wants Masterton vandals dealt to

By alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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FED UP: Peter Douglas, owner of the Queen Elizabeth Park Boats, beside the door that was jemmied open by burglars on Monday. PHOTO/ALISA YONG
FED UP: Peter Douglas, owner of the Queen Elizabeth Park Boats, beside the door that was jemmied open by burglars on Monday. PHOTO/ALISA YONG

The victim of a recent burglary in Queen Elizabeth Park says he is fed up nothing is being done to rid the park of vandals.

Burglars broke into Queen Elizabeth Park Boats on Monday night, breaking several security lights and smashing the lock off the door before making off with soft drinks kept for sale inside the store.

Business owner Peter Douglas said he was initially worried he would have to replace the expensive life jackets just before one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year, a thought he described as "devastating".

"I thought the life jackets would be gone and I thought that's all I need, to replace those for this weekend."

He had been relieved to find only drinks and possibly a couple of spanners from a tool box near the door had been stolen.

The burglars had left the empty soft drink bottles, along with other rubbish, strewn in the nearby car park.

Mr Douglas, who has run the business for three years, said he was sick of the constant graffiti on the boatshed and teenagers in cars doing donuts in the car park.

"It happens all the time in the weekend - someone is going to get killed one day."

"It's a big problem, especially with the graffiti and destruction of property. The council should put more security cameras in the park but they won't do it."

He had been in contact with Masterton District Council about getting more security cameras but said so far none had been installed in that part of the park.

He was also disappointed with the police presence in the area, he said.

"They can hear it and they won't send them over. I hardly see any patrols, especially on weekends and holidays."

Masterton Senior Sergeant Gordon Crawley said police had no plans to increase patrols in the park at this point in time.

Police were often not told about offending which happened in isolated areas like the park, which had few neighbours, Mr Crawley said.

"Often by the time we find out, they are long gone by the time we get there."

He was not aware of an increase in reports of graffiti in the park.

Masterton District Council did not respond to a request for comment before this issue went to print.

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