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Puketapu boy racers: Police unable to respond to street racing in cyclone-hit community but following ‘positive lines of inquiry’

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The corner of Apley and Dartmoor Rds near Puketapu shows the aftermath of street racing on Friday night. Photo / Paul Taylor

Police are urging people not to take matters into their own hands after anti-social boy-racer behaviour on Friday night left the still-struggling cyclone-hit community of Puketapu fuming.

Up to 30 cars performed burnouts in the Apley and Dartmoor Rds area but police could not come because of higher priority calls in Hawke’s Bay at the time.

Newshub reported the boy racers had also damaged security cameras set up to curb criminal behaviour after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Eastern District Police say they received a number of calls from concerned residents about 10.30pm on Friday about illegal street racing in Puketapu and are following “positive lines of inquiry”.

They said they had the means to identifying vehicles and individuals involved and would be following up.

“We know this community is still feeling the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle and that some roads are still not fully restored to their previous conditions, so any activity like this causes further distress,” police said.

“We acknowledge that this activity is frustrating to local residents and urge people to phone police at the time, with as much detail as you can safely gather – ie: number plates and descriptions/footage of vehicles.

“Police will attend where possible, however, we are able to follow up after the fact and hold people to account.

“We would also urge people not to take matters into their own hands, for their own safety.”

Puketapu, on the outskirts of Napier, is one of many communities still getting back on its feet following Cyclone Gabrielle.

It was cut off after its 122-metre bridge collapsed. Estimates are that it should be rebuilt within the next 12 months.

Unlike other cyclone-affected areas, Puketapu has been earmarked for a permanent bridge, rather than a temporary one.



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