You would have to wonder what the World's Biggest Bogans were doing when they chose New Zealand as their holiday destination over summer.
Did they think we were complete saps, willing to roll over and accept their appalling anti-social and criminal behaviour? That we were too primitive and unsophisticated to galvanise ourselves into a posse of right-thinking community policemen and women? A little bit of homework would have shown that we have spectacularly good form in bringing down even highly trained criminals, far less amateurs.
But just to recap … The foul mouthed, thieving, littering family of 12 from Liverpool has been making headlines on a daily – nay, hourly – basis since footage of them abusing Takapuna Beach goers was shown on nzherald.co.nz.
• Unruly tourists: Woman says she 'vomited blood' in cells
The extended family parked up at Takkers last Sunday and quickly drew the attention of other beachgoers thanks to their filthy language and their filthy behaviour. When local woman Krista Curnow asked them to pick up their rubbish, the tourists turned particularly nasty. She was threatened and footage of the youngest feral shows him threatening to knock her brains out. And thus it began.
As a result of the publicity over the litter fracas, a number of people approached the Herald with their own horror stories of encountering the World's Biggest Bogans.
A man who had the great misfortune to share a flight with these appalling humans recounted their bad behaviour on the Cathay flight to New Zealand. It was 12 hours of misery for everyone on board the plane, culminating in one member of the family leaving a baby's soiled nappy or onesie in the overhead locker.
Next, restaurateurs from Takapuna came forward. They recognised the family from the footage on the Herald website and told how these same people had come to their restaurants and refused to pay for meals after putting hair and insects into the food.
Every restaurateur accepts that, on the odd occasion, you meet a difficult customer and you tend to kiss bless and release and live to work another day. However, thanks to the restaurateurs coming forward, hospo workers around the country could see that this group had a modus operandi of ripping off retailers and they could be on the alert for them.
A Facebook page was set up within 24 hours of the footage being aired so that New Zealand could keep tabs on the lowlifes. And what fun they've had doing so!
The good folk of the Waikato were warned that the WBBs were incoming and so police were ready when they tried to do their run-of-the-mill scam at Burger King. Police were also able to arrest one of the women in the party for theft from a service station – she appeared in court on Thursday, pleaded guilty and was fined - and deportation orders were issued to the entire family.
As a result of the publicity, the English media followed up on the family and found that they are no strangers to trouble. According to the Sun newspaper, this family is a part of a group of travellers that are despised because of their antisocial behaviour.
Apparently the family lives on a traveller site near Lutterworth, Leicestershire, and police are often called there because of the antics of the residents. They urinate, copulate and defecate in full view of the public according to the report. So I suppose the Takapuna beachgoers who had the misfortune of sharing the beach with this motley lot should count themselves lucky it was only beer cartons they left on the beach. Although if one of the visiting group had defecated on the beach, I'm sure a responsible Takapuna Beach dog walker would have offered them a plastic bag to clean up after themselves. That's the way they do things in Takapuna.
A spokesman for the family claim that they are respectable people, that their dad is the 10th richest man in the UK and that they only came here to see the Hobbits. They're disappointed and upset at the attention and all they want to do is go home. Good riddance.
They have no idea just how effective New Zealanders can be at monitoring aberrant behaviour. Those of us of a certain vintage will remember that the French spies who bombed the Rainbow Warrior were exposed not by this country's counter espionage agents or even our investigative police officers. The hapless bumbling spies in charge of the operation were arrested less than 48 hours after the bombing thanks to members of the public who had clocked a number of odd incidents and reported them to police.
So this group of professional louts never had a chance of slipping under the radar. The reaction to this group was an excellent example of what can happen when the community, the media – both social and mainstream – and the police work together. We should be policing our own trouble-making Kiwis the same way.