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Ōtaki MP Tim Costley among the tyre tracks burned into a Miro Street cul-de-sac by boy racers. Photo Ōtaki Today

Business owners around Miro Street at Riverbank Commercial Park have had a gutsful after a mass burnout on the street.

An estimated 200 cars descended on Miro Street on the Saturday night of June 1 after creating havoc on the main highway through Levin earlier in the night. Drivers focused on a cul-de-sac in Miro Street, tearing up the roadway and leaving it littered with shredded tyres, bottles and rubbish.

One business owner, who did not want to be named, says the boy racers responsible created “mayhem”.

“The road’s a mess, and it’s not the first time they’ve been here,” she says. “The road’s going to need resealing, but after Saturday night we’re worried that someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by other business owners who met Ōtaki MP Tim Costley, Ōtaki Community Board chair Cam Butler and council staff at the site on June 6. The informal meeting discussed ways the perpetrators could be dissuaded from targeting Miro Street, including installation of barriers, speed humps, and limiting access at night.

The apparent inability of police to deal with the lawlessness concerned many.

Tim Costley said that before the incident he had been told by Levin police – who are often also called to Ōtaki – that they knew something such as on the Saturday night might happen and they were prepared, but they were just overwhelmed with the numbers.

Ōtaki police sergeant Phil Grimstone says his one available officer on the Saturday night was called to assist in Levin. Police there attempted to disperse the large crowd, but were pelted with bottles and other missiles. Two arrests were made and six cars impounded.

Police followed the vehicles involved to Miro Street in Ōtaki. A police statement said police “chose to avoid actively engaging at this location, given it was an industrial cul de sac which would have posed further risk to our staff”.

Tim Costley says he will be talking to police minister Mark Mitchell about strengthening police powers to deal with these incidents, and to Kāpiti mayor Janet Holborow about how the council could find a roading solution to deter boy racers congregating in areas such as Miro Street.

“There’s no silver bullet,” he says. “But we don’t want to see this settling in. We need police to reassert themselves in the community, and have more cars impounded.

“We’ve also got to kill the culture that says this is OK.”

Mark Mitchell has said he is discussing with transport minister Simeon Brown tougher laws “to make sure the police have got meaningful legislation and powers to be able to really crack down and stop these boy racers . . . causing havoc”.

One business owner who also lives on Miro Street says visits by boy racers have been frequent. Some appear to be random and even during the day; others well organised. She said police were called on the night of June 1, but no one came. People were on her roof, climbing over fences and setting off fireworks that damaged the roof of her building.

 

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Mayhem on Miro Street

 
 
 

 
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