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Campaign of terror over, mum says

By JONATHAN HOWE - The Manawatu Standard

11 March 2010

An alleged campaign of terror waged against a Palmerston North mother by Crewe Cres youths seems to have ended.

Bridie Hughes has lived in the Hokowhitu street for three years. She told the Manawatu Standard in January that out-of-control youths made violent threats to her family and had damaged and stolen her property.

Threats were made to eat the family dog, stab Miss Hughes' former partner Murray Field, and chop off her head with a hoe.

But the incidents have stopped since January, and Miss Hughes, who had appealed to Housing New Zealand for a transfer, now wants to stay in Crewe Cres.

Miss Hughes attributes the changes to Crewe Cres being put under the spotlight, and three households of people leaving the area. "I'm pretty good at the moment," she said. "We haven't had any trouble at all. I had a few people come around and apologise."

However, although she had been left alone, Miss Hughes said troublemakers had started to target other people on the street.

Agencies, including the city council, Neighbourhood Support, Refugee Services, police, Internal Affairs and Housing New Zealand, have been working in the area to strengthen ties between residents.

Former mayor Heather Tanguay said the introduction of two Neighbourhood Support groups would be discussed at a meeting between agencies and community leaders on March 18.

Much of the focus would be on helping the many migrants and refugees in the area, she said.

"It's all part of the work we are doing there and it's all geared towards integration, understanding and people getting to know each other. It's a small area ... but it's a lot of circumstances of people from different cultures all being put together and not knowing each other or speaking English."

Acting Senior Sergeant Mike Yates said the situation in the Crewe Cres area had improved since a police-led operation was conducted there.


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