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Man arrested in relation to Kawakawa arson

Man arrested in relation to Kawakawa arson

Police have made an arrest in relation to a recent spate of arsons in the Kawakawa area.

On Wednesday January 23 Police arrested an 18-year-old Kawakawa man for the arson of the Kawakawa Superette on January 13. He has also been charged with two burglaries to commercial buildings in the Bay of Islands town. The man has been remanded in custody until February 12.

Police have also spoken to a group of younger teenage boys from Kawakawa about the spate of arsons. There have been four fires which Police believe were deliberately lit and connected to this group.

The young boys range in age from 13 to 16 years. Three from this group are being referred to Police Youth Services for their part in the arsons and connected burglaries.

Acting Detective Sergeant Greg Johnson has headed the investigation team.
He said it was very sad that these young people have been involved in these arsons.

"It is a very serious offence carrying a hefty penalty, but it is also such a danger to human life. Not only are they putting their own lives in jeopardy - they are risking the lives of their own whänau and community who turn out as volunteer fire-fighters."

Mr Johnson said that Police now have a pretty clear picture of who was responsible for the fires and will continue their inquiries this week.

"The most important thing for us has been stopping this behaviour before someone gets seriously hurt. We and the fire service will be taking a prevention approach with these kids and their families, making sure this doesn’t happen again."

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