Featherston Tales

Children terrorise Featherston
NZ Newswire January 12, 2012, 8:52 am

Child thugs, some as young as six years old, are being accused of vandalism, arson and trying to extort money from elderly residents in the Wairarapa town of Featherston.

One 86-year-old returned serviceman said he was too scared to go out at night because he would be a good target on his mobility scooter.

"I live alone and I can't even go out for a beer of a night - it's too dangerous going home. They've just got control of the place," he told APNZ.

Featherston fire chief Colin McKenna said children as young as six had been seen wandering the streets until 2am and he had seen children trying to extort money from people.

Sergeant Kevin Basher said that about six months ago a core of three or four troublemakers, with up to 15 others, began causing trouble.

They had been lighting fires, stealing, damaging property and abusing people.

Police, CYF and South Wairarapa Safer Community Council were trying to resolve the problem, but it came back to parental control, he said.

"We're taking a holistic approach, looking at the families and into such things as whether these kids are getting three meals a day, have a bed to sleep in with clean sheets."

Featherston residents reassured after spate of crimes
Newstalk ZB January 12, 2012, 1:52 pm

Police are assuring Featherston residents they're doing all they can to control a group of youths who've been causing problems in the Wairarapa town.

A group of children is being blamed for a spate of crimes over the past six months, including vandalism, petty theft and lighting fires.

Some are as young as six-years-old.

Masterton Senior Sergeant Warwick Burr says the problems stem from a large family in Featherston, and police are working with CYF to get the children some help.

"While we acknowledge that there is a problem, it's not a case where a whole community is being terrorised by a small group of juveniles that the police and other organisations cannot do something about."

Senior Sergeant Burr says the teenage ringleaders have been attracting others to the group.

Tony Reid: Featherston (2008)

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