Crackdown for the underpass

22:34, Jan 01 2014
Paul Marshall full
Paul Marshall, parks contractor for New Plymouth District council.

Plans are in the pipeline to revamp New Plymouth's Huatoki underpass - including "less comfortable rocks" - to make it less appealing to troublemakers.

Complaints from the public about youths drinking, loitering and engaging in antisocial behaviour have prompted police to work with the New Plymouth District Council to redesign the area to make it safer for users.

Vandals had also tagged the underpass wall over the weekend and police are still on the lookout for the offenders.

Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre hoped the redesign would make the underpass a less desirable place for troublemakers to hang out.

NPDC parks manager Mark Bruhn met police on December 20 and said it was about developing something that would be "more attractive for users and less attractive for ratbags".

Mr Bruhn said vandals were drawn to the area as it was "quite sheltered and out of sight".

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He also said the negative experiences people had when using the underpass was not something the council wanted.

NPDC is looking to fill the rocky patch by the underpass with "less comfortable rocks" and also have extra cameras installed around the Wind Wand.

Costs of having cameras fixed were being investigated and Mr Bruhn was hopeful to have quotes back in the new year.

People with information on the weekend's tagging are urged to contact the New Plymouth police on 06 759 5500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Taranaki Daily News