Police have given out at least 596 infringements to window washers across New Zealand since a law came into force in August last year, figures obtained under the Official Information Act show.

The data, from August 2017 until the end of May, showed that nearly half of all infringements were issued to window washers in the Counties/Manukau police district, a total of 291.

The month where the highest number of infringements were issued was December, when 88 fines were given out.

Infringement numbers are second highest in Northland, where 135 fines have been issued to window washers over the nine-month period.


A total of $81,300 was collected as a result of window-washing infringements between August 2017 and May 2018.

Area Commander for Manurewa Inspector Adam Pyne said while the legislation does give police extra powers to deal with window washers, it isn't a complete fix.

"We are unable to police in these hotspot areas all the time and the issuing of a police fine is not always a deterrent to window washing," Pyne said.

"As long as the public continue to pay for the window washing, there will continue to be people who partake in this, so we encourage the public to not engage and to not hand over money to window washers."

Pyne said the main concern of police was the safety risk.

"It is very dangerous and unfortunately we have had a person who was window washing in Auckland killed in the past year after they were hit by a vehicle, so we know the risks are very real," Welsh said.

Police said they continue to discourage and speak to those involved, particularly youth, to warn them of the risks involved.

"We realise that issuing a fine is not always the answer and our staff assess each incident on a case-by-case basis and try to educate and prevent those involved from taking part."


Business Manukau crime prevention manager Anton Welsh said the association believed the law had been successful in deterring adult window washers.

However, the older window washers had been replaced by a much younger crowd.

"There's been a shift, there was an older crowd over 17, they've all gone and they've been replaced by the under 17s," Welsh said.

Welsh said the public must stop paying the washers.

"Unfortunately the only solution is the public stops paying them. If it's the allure of cash that's getting them out there to wash the windows, if you stop the cash there's no incentive to do it," he said.

Welsh said he thinks the public have simply accepted window washing as the new norm and people just turn a blind eye to it.

"It's almost like prostitution, it's always going to be there, you can fight it till you're blue in the face or just let it be, and I think that's the stage we're at now."