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Fears young vandals may be hurt at new library

Supplied photo.

There are fears people may be injured if break-ins continue at the Opotiki library construction site.

Young people have broken into the construction site on multiple occasions, committing acts of vandalism, tagging, and theft.

As a result, Livingstone Building construction manager Tim Bunnett says the company is looking to install floodlights and cameras in key locations.

It had also arranged for Opotiki District Council’s security firm to do after hours patrols in the area.

He says the construction team is mainly worried that someone would be hurt on site.

Witnesses to the latest incident on Sunday night says there were about seven “big boys” chasing each other around with safety barrier bars and wooden planks.

Those who asked them to stop and put the gear back were abused and threatened by the group.

Bunnett says by the time he got to the site, the group had left but the young people had “clearly been messing around” with traffic management materials such as cones although there was no major damage or missing property.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time there has been young people breaking into the site and there has been some vandalism and tagging previously."

Opotiki Police have been involved in previous incidents.

“This is an active construction site and even outside hours, there are some real hazards and risks if people are breaking in,” says Bunnett.

“The last thing we want is anyone getting hurt and, of course, it costs the community if there is damage or delays to the project.”

He hopes the extra security steps will deter people from breaking into the site.

“We also really appreciate the local community calling it in when they see people on site when they shouldn’t be.

“As with other urgent after-hours matters, people can ring the main council phone number, 07 3153030, and it is transferred through to the security company.”

The new $4 million library and research centre, officially called Te Tahuhu o Te Rangi, is expected to open in September 2021.

It will be the third library built on the site in Opotiki with the first built 141 years ago in 1879.

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3 Comments
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Let Them

Posted on 06-11-2020 09:41 | By

Get hurt and injured. Let them bare the scars for life as a reminder of their deliberate illegal and self-centered behavior. Let them bear the penalty when caught. Let them pay the expenses incurred. No wait . . . they’ll probably get Youth Court and milk shake and cookies. Adult crime = adult sentence in an adult Court. Quit pi$$ing in their pockets to give them a nice warm feeling and fluffing their pillows. It’s time to hit these social delinquents hard.

So What?

Posted on 05-11-2020 15:56 | By Astoreth

Getting hurt is the only way these drop-kicks will learn. The police are powerless to deal within, and they know it.

Boo Hoo, serve them right

Posted on 05-11-2020 11:30 | By xenasdad

Good grief, should they also be rewarded for their illegal, dangerous and antisocial behaviour ?? They choose to do this, fully aware that it is wrong, the risks, and the penalties. Any injured young thugs should be made to pay for their hospital care, and all ongoing expenses, not the law abiding taxpayers.