Scumbag window washer intimidating drivers

The NZ Herald is reporting more troubles with window washer scumbags:

Police are now warning motorists not to pay window washers and to stay in their vehicles if approached.

Why aren’t the police warning windscreen washers they’ll be systematically rounded up and run out of town?

Why isn’t the council dealing with it as well. They are unlicensed hawkers.  

Police said one of the men was found with property allegedly stolen during a burglary of a house on Great South Rd the night before.

Says a lot about windscreen washers.

Police have recently started arranging for service stations to have window washing brushes marked or engraved. When the marked brushes are found in the possession of window washers, officers will look to charge them with theft or receiving stolen property.

As does that.

Continuous patrols around the affected intersections are ongoing, and where possible, police will try to move the window washers on. Window washers under the age of 17 will be returned home or to school.

Rubbish. A reader who emailed me about this story called *555 about a windscreen washer getting in the way of traffic and squirting cars on the Thursday before ANZAC weekend. They didn’t want to know, and redirected his call to the Auckland Council.

But the real kicker is this statement:

Police said a 17 year-old Takanini man has been charged with burglary and assault with a weapon. The two other men were later released by police.

So a 17 year old is a man now…unless the Media party gets on their side then they are a poor hard done by teenager.


– NZ Herald


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  • Hard1

    The window washers actions are illegal under ;

    In Thailand, people sell you flowers. You cannot touch someones car. That is an offence.
    In Japan, touching someones car is a serious arrestable offence that will result in a court appearance.
    In NZ the gang control is stronger than the Council. The Council are pathetic. They will not enforce their own bylaw.

    Also, Unlawful interference comes into play, enforcable by the Police…
    Under section 226(2) of the Crimes Act 1961, you must prove the identity of the suspect
    and that they:
    • dishonestly and without claim of right
    • interfered with, or got into or on
    • any vehicle, ship or aircraft.

    Lifting up your wipers and squirting dirty water on your window is interference, pure and simple. Try getting their name, good luck with that, then call 111. They are breaking the law.

  • RightofSingapore

    Chch’s councillors are just as hopeless. Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck a while ago said she was concerned about the “windscreen washers” getting a conviction. That sort of stupid statement shows she is unfit to be on a council.

  • Effluent

    “Why aren’t the police warning windscreen washers they’ll be systematically rounded up and run out of town? Why isn’t the council dealing with it as well ?”

    I know these questions are rhetorical, but I believe that they both warrant a thoughtful answer.

    In both cases, the organisations have chosen to forget that they were established to provide services for the common good.

    In the case of the police, they have then been emasculated by political correctness from dealing with antisocial behaviour by street thugs, and diverted from doing so by the financial imperatives of revenue gathering. You only have to watch Police 10/7 to see numerous examples of the scumbag population being treated with a ridiculous degree of forbearance and courtesy by Ploice, often including giving these antisocial scumbags free rides from one side of town to the other, after they have committed their 100th act of vandalism, or some such offence. No wonder they haven’t got time to be bothered with burglaries.

    In Auckland Council’s case, the same political correctness applies, exacerbated by the desire to avoid the inevitable accusations of racism which would ensue if they crack down on an extortion racket which is predominantly carried out by Maori, with gang connivance..

  • Quinton Hogg

    I see the bloke is from takanini.
    I bet he took the train to Greenlane (without paying) as i can’t see him being the kind of guy that would commute.
    good to see our public transport subsidies hard at work.

  • Its demanding money with menace for unasked for service and its illegal.
    The cops need to man up to these thugs instead of handing out traffic fines for minor infringments.

  • Keyser Soze

    Window washing is not an offence. These savages can’t be arrested for it and they know it. It may be a breach of bylaws but that’s a council matter. Good luck with getting them to deal efficiently with it. It is very complex problem for which there is a very simple solution – stop paying them! The laws of economics are king. If they can make money of it they will continue to do it regardless of the law. Every single day I go through these major intersections and see people paying up. I understand the motivation to pay – i.e. better they’re doing this than burglary etc. unfortunately as highlighted in this case they’re doing both.

    I would suggest it becomes an offence against the Land Transport Act to engage in any commercial transaction, whether lawful or unlawful, while operating or a passenger in a motor vehicle travelling on a public road. I can’t think of any legitimate trade that would be effected by this. This would be easily enforceable using existing traffic powers and after a few blitzes, the money would dry up and intersection window washing would become a thing of the past.

    Ed to add: $50 ticket would be enough to send the right message to motorists without being onerous.

    • MaryLou

      I disagree. Motorists aren’t doing anything wrong to start with – the onus has to stay on getting rid of the thugs (yes, thugs) doing this. If my other comment makes it out of moderation, I’ve included plenty of links to where saying no to these people has bad consequences.

      • Keyser Soze

        By paying the thugs motorists are creating the demand for them to be there. Remove the money = fix the problem. It is impractical and ultimately pointless to prosecute the thugs for what will always be a very minor offence – and it won’t fix anything.

        • MaryLou

          Are you suggesting, against Police advice that dairy owners should just hand over their cash, that every day people driving to work consider saving 50 cents or a dollar worth the risk of a punch in the face? Because if you Google, you’ll see motorists are receiving a lot more than that in Manukau for daring to say no…

    • PsychoKea

      Maybe let IRD chase them for unpaid tax on their activites

    • Orange

      Refer to the first post here by Hard1. You are incorrect, it is an offence.

      • Keyser Soze

        Actually a breach of bylaws is certainly illegal but not an ‘offence’ i.e. Police have no power of arrest for bylaw breaches unless it is explicitly legislated for such as the case with a breach of liquor ban.

        My point is that there is no point making window washing an offence because that will not solve the problem. As long as there is a profit in it, these young guys will ignore the law and carry on regardless of how many times they get locked up. They do not think like you and me and they have no regard for the law or any penalty imposed on them. I have highlighted the likely practical hurdles in prosecuting such and offence in another post… I say think outside the box and cut the money off.

  • Aucky

    ‘Continuous patrols around affected intersections.’

    Bollocks! They are as thick as fleas on a dog at Greenlane. Two mobs operating all corners. You can bet your bottom dollar these guys aren’t freelancing and that the bulk of their earnings goes straight to the gangs.

    • GT

      Yes and the kid they caught from Takanini would have got there free of charge on the criminal express that Len arranges for them.
      It is well known that the little toerags are using the trains to go to other areas commit the crime steal a car to get home then dump it.
      The council knows this but will not look at increasing the the security of having swipe gates to get on the trains at all stations they are doing it at Manurewa but none of the others out this way.
      The Papakura train station is the biggest single location for police call outs in the Papakura Takanini area the police have suggested changes that could be made very cheaply to stop a lot of the problems but AT are not interested.

      • FornaK

        I agree with your comments GT, except that I can’t see how smart gates will stop fare dodgers. They’ll just jump the gates anyway.

        • GT

          At least when jumping gates they stand out to the security just got to get them to do their jobs. Maybe what we need are proper transport police like overseas. Have heard so many stories of intimidation & trouble at all times of the day or night something has to happen.

  • CheesyEarWax

    Oh look, another reason not to use your car and use public transport instead. The council is too busy catching motorists in bus lanes instead of enforcing council by-laws.

  • Spiker

    I equate these window washers to seagulls. People throw out chips for seagulls which then flock in for more. Stop giving them money & they will stop coming. Don’t keep encouraging them & then cry about it. How hard can it be to understand that?

  • RobT

    And where is OSH on this? I’m yet to see any of them with High Viz clothing, work safe shoes etc. Surely the Council and the Police should be interested/ reacting to the fact they are J walking, acting in a dangerous manner by virtue of the distraction they cause at busy intersections. Come on the various departments …long overdue to harden your approach to these idiots at intersections!?

    • HR

      I agree, if it were a legitimate business OSH would be all over it, dishing out fines left, right, and centre.

    • duve

      Yes, it is clearly illegal to walk in and out of traffic at an intersection. You can be fined for not using a crossing if you are within a certain distance of it. I guess it’s a bit much to expect action from the police though, they are too busy making dance videos.

    • KatB

      They are busy making sure kids aren’t climbing trees at school. They’ve got to focus on the truly reckless stuff first, then they’ll get to the window washers.

      • RobT

        KatB, you know the thing that really sticks in my craw with this issue and the street beggar brigade. Is that both have been going on for too long. No one has a good word for any of them. They are a blight on this tourist dependent country. Yet no one at central or local government appears to give a toss. Oh it’s too hard, or they’re not hurting anyone, ignore them they will go away…I’m too busy attending overseas meetings to get off my too well paid chuff to stick my nose in or head up!
        I reckon that it’s about time they were lined up as elections loom locally and nationally next year!

        • KatB

          As Effluent mentioned on here, the cops have been a bit hamstrung by this PC rubbish. If cops could deal with this sort of stuff then and there, as it was happening, there could be some real difference. It would be worthwhile for the cops to respond to these problems if it didn’t mean paperwork and court hearings with wet bus ticket outcomes. Aaaahhhhh the good old days, where the cops could give you a kick up the backside and there were parents at home ready to give you another kick up the backside.

        • Big fella

          If begging is now a job then where is the local OSH inspector? Actually the Q st store managers should clean their windows a few times a day. Keep the foot path wet, that might deter the vermin.

  • Tracy

    I think people pay them because they are scared not to, as you say they are intimidating and particularly for women alone or with kids in the car, it is easier & safer to let them clean the screen & pay them a couple of dollars than risk abuse.

    • RobT

      Just “Blank” them….don’t look at em,totally ignore them. The least I do, is if they come close is to still blank them but at the same time hold my hand up in halt position! Always works in Christchurch…..

  • Seriously?

    I have no problem with the window washers doing just that. In fact I like that they are getting off their chuff and doing something to earn money, and the best of them make it entertainment as much as a window washing service.

    The problem as I see it are the ones that turn it into an exercise in intimidation or a safety issue. They need to be dealt with.

    I’m not sure how we can police those causing a problem while still allowing those that are not. Maybe the answer is to ban it completely, but that is not an ideal solution.

  • Not Michael Wood

    It is all about the Money.

  • lyall

    Does NZ have jaywalking laws – my little brother got a ticket for it in Melbourne – i never saw any window washers there though!

  • These seagulls flock at the same intersections. Greenlane, Great North/Rata, Northcross etc.
    Cops could just cut out the middle man and harrass them off the streets.
    Then WINZ and IRD can have them for undecleared income blah blah..

    Cos I’d hate to think so too…but I suspect you have the right of it.

    • Keyser Soze

      I’m not sure whether this is urban myth, but I heard the guy who first started window washing in NZ worked the Nelson St off ramp about the time the $1 and $2 coins were introduced. Rumour has it the cops couldn’t get rid of him back then either but he was reported to IRD by a local bank who were suspicious of the ~$3000 worth of coins he was depositing each day!

  • JustanObserver

    Dial *555 …. “Hello, yes, I have just been intimidated by some very unruly window washers at ….. intersection, I am quite scared as one looked to have a gun in his waistband, and another looked like a knife”
    Police will descend in large numbers, and you can be excused for ‘mistaking’ the wash handles for weapons when you are ‘fearful’.
    If this happens enough, they will give up on window washing thuggery

  • FornaK

    Yes, the cops should be doing their jobs.
    The judicial process you have outlined is at fault.
    As long as the cops keep acting on our, the taxpayers complaints, work will continue to mount up, backlogs will increase, until some politician or police boss asks why are you are not clearing all this backlog officer.
    The useless council bylaws and inaction should be sorted out from the top. The local govt minister asking please explains from all our council CEO on their inefficiencies etc.
    I know it’s expecting too much on asking people to do their jobs for what theyre paid to do theses days.
    What we tolerate is accepted as the new norm.

    • Keyser Soze

      So your solution to the window washing problem is for Police to ‘do their jobs’, central government to overhaul local government and a complete revamp of the judicial system? I’d suggest none of those things will work in isolation without the others also being sorted but you’re right it’s an ideal fix!