25 July 2011
Vandals caught damaging road signs in the Waipa District can expect to find out the hard way that crime does not pay.
Waipa District Council will seek reparation from anyone caught damaging council property in an effort to reduce the financial burden on ratepayers for replacement and/or repair.
Vandalism and theft of road signs in the Waipa District costs around $20,000 a year. That figure does not include the cost of cleaning up graffiti.
Police have recently spoken to a number of people in both Te Awamutu and Cambridge regarding the damage of road signs. In one incident, someone was caught trying to pull a road sign from the ground using a winch.
On some weekends as many as 15 signs have been damaged and as the incidents were not reported to police those responsible have been unable to be identified.
Waipa District Council’s road corridor manager Dawn Inglis said Waipa residents had an active part to play in ensuring the financial burden on ratepayers was reduced.
“Vandalism and theft not only costs ratepayers money, it takes up a lot of staff time which would be better spent concentrating on making improvements to our district’s infrastructure,” she said.
Vandalism of signs was an ongoing issue although there was a marked increase in the number of incidents during the school holidays.
Ms Inglis said the consequences of such actions could be more than just financial.
“Road signs have an important safety function and the possibility of a serious injury or even a fatality being caused by these sorts of mindless actions is more real than these offenders understand,” she said.
“We encourage anyone who sees someone vandalising council property to contact police immediately.”
For more information, please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor
Ph: 07 872 0062 or 027 532 1760