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MP condemns public assault

The incident last Saturday in which a group of teenagers assaulted and hospitalised a 14-year-old at Masterton Skatepark is “completely unacceptable” and reinforces the need for police, according to Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty.

“My thoughts are with the victim and their family and friends, and I wish them all the best,” he said.

McAnulty said local police are the right people to act when there is a threat to persons or property.

“I back our local police 100 per cent. I meet with them regularly, and they are very proactive in working with community groups and local families to address offences and prevent them from occurring in future,” he said.

McAnulty said he stands with the community in condemning Saturday’s assault and emphasised he has advocated for more local police.

“I feed back what I’m seeing and hearing locally to ministers in Parliament,” he said.

“I’ve pushed hard for more police resources in our community, and we have seen an increase in frontline officers in Wairarapa over the past few years, including dedicated rural officers.”

On Thursday, Police Minister Ginny Anderson announced that, with the latest police graduation, the government has delivered on its promise to put an extra 1800 police on the front line, making the police workforce larger than ever before.

“Delivering on our promise means every policing district in New Zealand is better resourced than they were five and half years ago,” she said.

A police spokesperson said that, despite two assaults in the past week, police are not aware of many recent incidents at the skatepark.

“We recognise that Masterton’s skatepark is an area where youths tend to congregate; however, few incidents have been reported to police in recent times,” they said.

“Police urge that anyone who witnesses criminal or anti-social behaviour occurring right now call 111.”

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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