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On July Sunday (Jul 20th) – Signs promoting Jacinda Ardern and another sign with MP for Te Tai Hauāuru Adrian Rurawhe were painted with swastikas, the symbols were painted on two signs at the end of Tasman Road coming into the Ōtaki Beach district.
The person that painted Swastikas on the signage walked in front of traffic and across the straight numerous times while holding a bucket of bright red paint. After the person crossed the straight from painting swastikas, a car passed by and pulled over to the side of the road, passing the vandalized east bound political sign of Jacinda Ardern.
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The person holding the paint bucket crossed the straight once again to meet and mingle with the group of three people (one was possibly still in the front left passenger seat) – after roughly 12 minutes, the person eventually left the scene by foot west of Tasman Road to not be found by Police in time, as did the car leave the scene East towards the Ōtaki Township.
The New Zealand Police states defacing property by graffiti vandalism is an act of intentional damage, constituting a criminal offense, carrying a penalty of up to three months imprisonment or a fine of up to $2,000.
“If ignored, the spread of graffiti in the street can convey a visible message that the community is not concerned about appearance, and does not care. Apart from the potential lowering of property values, an image of urban decay can generate a fear of neighborhood crime and may attract more crime.”
It is essential to know where the offender(s) are observed in the act of committing graffiti crime, that the Police are called immediately. The Police member answering the call should be clearly advised that the offender is under observation, or has just left.
“If you have a camera or video camera, you could photograph the offender(s), if you can safely do so without alerting them and placing yourself at risk. A clear view of offenders and actions may be obscured by vehicles, walls, shrubbery, inadequate lighting, and distance, but as far as possible.”
“If Police are delayed as a result of attendance at other incidents, make a written record of what you have observed, as this will be helpful for Police inquiries. A record of the tag will also be helpful. If it is not your property that has been vandalized, and it is practical to do so, you could either contact or leave a note, for the owner, advising that you witnessed the offense.”
Police have not yet found the person committing graffiti crime.
If you do see or know any information call 111 for Police when you are afraid for your safety and or for those around you, someone has been assaulted and, the offender is still there. Find advice at 105.police.govt.nz, or call 105 free from both mobile and landline phones.