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Sharks cruise the park

The Aucklander, 1 Mar 2010

By Joanna Davies


People living near Triangle Park are too scared to go there now that 'gangs' have taken it over, reports Joanna Davies.


In a neighbourhood where children could once play in the park without their parents worrying, now even the parents are reluctant to go outside alone - particularly after dark.

Some Massey West residents say they are scared because of the sudden changes in their suburb. Residents were very willing to share their fears with The Aucklander, but all were too concerned for their safety to be named.

One mother of three who lives near Triangle Park says: "If you go for a walk through the park you just get abused by groups hanging around. It's really disconcerting."

She says no parents in her street allow their children to play in the park alone. "I worry about my son and I wait for him to come home from his run every night. Advertisement It's not him, it's that the youths in the park all work in gangs."

Her neighbour agrees. "We're just scared to go outside at night," he says. "One of my neighbours has been told that her cat will be killed if it goes on to a certain property."

His family have put in an electric gate to stop people trespassing. "Right now there are four youths in red hats, drinking bourbon, looking at me. We don't need this kind of intimidation."

The residents believe the problems started last July when Housing New Zealand opened an apartment block near Triangle Park.

"All the problems started when people moved in there," he says.

"Now we have people harassing little old ladies when they go to the shops, and abusing them when they don't give them the money they're asking for."

A Housing New Zealand spokesperson says the agency is aware of the problems, and is fixing them. "We met with police, tenants and Neighbourhood Support last week.

"It was agreed that a Neighbourhood Watch group will be established, and our tenancy manager will visit the complex three times a week."

The spokesperson says the issues relate to one tenancy in particular and "we will be working closely with the people living at that propert".

Jason Clarke, the police sergeant in charge at Massey, says there have been issues around Triangle Park over the summer and he can understand why people are worried.

"Anecdotally, the activity is not of a proportion that is causing us concern, but I think there is a perception that there are problems."

Residents who are concerned should contact the police. Contact Waitakere's coordinator at 839 0768.

Streetwise

If there is antisocial behaviour in your area, or you are abused and threatened, you should contact the police and give them as much information as you can, including a description of the people involved, what happened and where it took place. The police can also tell you what you can do to make your property more secure.

If anyone tags your property, take a photo of it before painting over it and send the picture to the police for their records.

Setting up a neighbourhood support group makes an excellent start.

Source: http://www.theaucklander.co.nz/local/news/sharks-cruise-the-park/3910394/

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