No extra police to enforce proposed Summit Rd restrictions

It may be difficult for police to enforce any Summit Rd restrictions.

Plans to put the brakes on boy racers on the Summit Rd are likely to fail because police won’t have the resources to enforce new rules.

Police have confirmed there won’t be any extra police to enforce proposed night-time restrictions on Summit Rd.

Senior Sergeant Kelly Larsen told Bay Harbour News police had to send staff where they were most needed.

“We have finite resources and have to determine where to deploy staff. Most fatal accidents are on highways and rural open roads. In terms of risk, that’s where there is most need.”

Senior Sergeant Larson said the primary role of police was the preservation of life.

The city council has proposed to restrict night-time road access to Summit Rd and Worsleys Rd after concerns about anti-social road use, safety, damage, vandalism, fire and rubbish.

The time restrictions would prohibit vehicles under 3500kg between 10pm to 5am, Thursday to Monday, and on public holidays.

Governors Bay writer Rosie Belton believes the measures won’t reduce anti-social behaviour because there won’t be enough staff to police them.

“Nobody’s going to take any notice. It boils down to a Government issue. Give us more police resources. Staff are overwhelmed, no matter how hard or well-meaning they are.”

Ms Larsen said while she sympathised with Ms Belton’s concerns, the city council’s proposal was “the best solution we can offer. It might have an impact and has the least negative effect.”

She said there was an “unrelenting” demand for police services and there was no guarantee more resources would result in extra policing of the Summit Rd, due to demands from other areas.

“Personally, I’m not sure (the restrictions) will achieve what
we want it to. There’s nothing
to stop them using alternative routes.”

But she said the option of putting a barrier across the road would negatively impact on people who had a valid reason for accessing the area, such as photographers and cyclists.

“It’s trying to find a compromise. It’s a really challenging issue and we’re trying to work cooperatively.”

She said if the proposal goes ahead, there might be extra police in the area initially, to educate drivers about the changes.

Ms Belton said she wasn’t surprised to hear there wouldn’t be extra policing.

“It’s exactly what I would have imagined. How can they? They don’t have the resources. You have to ask yourself, what’s this exercise about? For many years, people have tried to (solve this problem). Huge resources have gone into this city council proposal and where does it end up?”

The city council is currently seeking feedback on the proposed night-time traffic prohibitions on Summit Rd. Go to the city council’s website www.ccc.govt.nz before August 25. More than 750 submissions have been received so far.

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