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Council applauds police efforts on meter theft

Media Release 1 September 2006

Chch City Council applauds police efforts against meter theft

Efforts to stop damage to new parking machines in Christchurch are being applauded by the city council.

Since installation of the new pay-and-display machines began in July, about a dozen have been damaged in an attempt to take the coins inside. Last night, three machines were knocked over and, this morning, Police were given security camera footage showing a man damaging one of the machines.

Police are now speaking to two people, a man and a woman, in relation to the matter.

“We are very pleased the Christchurch Police have reacted so quickly once alerted to a pattern of crime,” says Jane Parfitt, the council’s city environment general manager. “Deliberately targeting public property is outrageous behaviour.

”We did not want to make an issue of this for fear of copycat damage and that is still a possibility so we urge people who are in and around the central city in the late evening and early mornings to keep an eye out for anyone damaging these machines. Please if you see this, call the Police and report it.”

Collection of money from the machines has been stepped up recently to ensure there is only a few dollars in any machine overnight and this will continue.

“Every time you get a new system like this you expect some opportunists to test them so the damage wasn’t entirely unexpected. We’ve been told that in other centres where this has happened it’s been just one or two people having a go and, once they’re caught, the problem tapers off.”

ENDS

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