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A wave of bad behaviour


Yet another example of
Masterton youth being unruly resulted in police removing a teenager from Trust House Recreation Centre this week.

Officers responded to a request from pool staff at about 4pm on Tuesday to issue a trespass notice to someone at the Masterton District Council [MDC] facility, a police spokesperson confirmed.

“Prior to police arrival, staff had asked a youth to leave the pool … but without success, and on police arrival, Masterton Maori Wardens were also speaking with the youth, asking him to leave the pool area due to his behaviour,” they said.

After a further 10 minutes of discussion between police and the teenager, the 14-year-old was taken into custody and later released into the care of his family. MDC community facilities and activities manager Corin Haines said the pool is popular with young people during the school holiday period, and the behaviour of pool users is “generally very good”.

“The priority for pool staff is the health and safety of all pool users. They are trained in all aspects of this, including customer relations.”

Pool managers did not respond to a request for comment about the incident.

A social media post shared by a relative of the 14-year-old said he had been “accused of doing manus/bombs inside the pools in Masterton. Anyone who has footage of today’s episode at the pools would be much appreciated. We’re heading to court.”

The family member said they are sick of their kids getting picked on, and claimed police had taken the wrong teenager into custody.

They uploaded an eight-minute video of the interaction between police and the 14-year-old to Facebook.

Police did not respond to questions about the claim.

Police also did not confirm whether a complaint had been filed or if the wrong teenager was taken into custody.

The Times-Age is aware that parents have complained to pool management about disorderly behaviour at the facility in recent weeks.

After a separate incident, MDC also closed the small learners’ pool at the rear of the facility when damage to the roofing was discovered.

“Last week, a person or a group of people appear to have tried to climb over the rear pool roof. We initially thought a few roofing panels had been damaged but, on inspection, have found that the structural integrity of the roof appears to be compromised,” Haines said.

“We will need to address this before we can allow people to use the pool. A structural engineer will give us a report, at which point we will know when the pool can be safely reopened.”

Haines said he is disappointed the pool had to be closed – but public safety ws paramount.

The rest of the pools remain open, but pool users are requested to follow the signs asking them to avoid parts of the facility.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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