Licorice logs new weapon for police

BY KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 05:00 08/12/2009
SWEET CHOICE: Ian Hamblyn plans to hand  out tickets or licorice chocolate  logs this summer, depending on the behaviour of drivers on Waitarere Beach.
ANDREW GORRIE/The Dominion Post
SWEET CHOICE: Ian Hamblyn plans to hand out tickets or licorice chocolate logs this summer, depending on the behaviour of drivers on Waitarere Beach.

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The sugary treat will be used to reward good driving. Those who continue to break the law will get their just deserts in the form of a traffic ticket.

Constable Ian Hamblyn, of Levin, said the 40-hour-a-week beach patrols had been extended from six weeks last year to three months this summer, as police and the community claimed the beach back from boy racers.

The patrol kicked off six years ago as a joint initiative between police, Horowhenua District Council and the community to get hooning drivers off the beach so families could safely enjoy it. Last year, 12 voluntary beach wardens patrolled the beach – this summer about 20 will be working the 40-kilometre stretch of sand reporting to police any speeding, dangerous driving or drunken and disorderly behaviour.

"This year we decided rather than going out with a big stick and punishing people being bad, we would also reward people for good behaviour," Mr Hamblyn said.

Levin business RJ's Licorice has provided the chocolate logs and confectionery, and a BP station and Tony's Tyre Service have given vouchers to be made into gift packs for the cause.

"We want to say 'good on ya' to reward beachgoers for good behaviour," Mr Hamblyn said.

Three officers are working full-time until the end of February to ensure drivers stick to the 30kmh beach speed limit.

"It is a great little community and they are right behind us. The public has got the message. Working with them, we are not going to tolerate speeding, donuts, dangerous driving, fish-tailing or drag racing. We want the beach back for families."

Last year police issued about 20 tickets on the beach for speeding, dangerous driving and licence infringements, with one driver fined $1400 for multiple infringements.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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