Windscreen washing or robbery?

The Press reports:

Children as young as 14 say they earn up to $150 a day washing windscreens in Christchurch.

Police have become increasingly worried by the behaviour of the city’s windscreen washers, some of whom they suspect are being run by gangs, including the Mongrel Mob, and have asked the council to give them authority to seize their equipment and prosecute them under the council’s public places bylaw.

One group who call themselves the ‘Moorhouse Window Washers’ deny any gang affiliations and say the public has nothing to be worried about.

“We are just getting on with our jobs like everyone else,” said 16-year-old James Burgess who claims to earn about $150 a day.

“We won’t do a car that don’t want to be done.”

Burgess, who has been washing windscreens for about 18 months, said he and the rest of his group would wash windscreens for about four hours a day for the money and the “entertainment”.

“It’s better than robbing people,” another young boy said.

That says a lot about the attitudes of those involved.

Crouther said he had surveillance footage of an incident where window washers had surrounded a motorist’s car. When the motorist had indicated he did not want his window washed, they had smashed in the car’s windows.

In another incident a driver had  his side mirror kicked off by a window washer when he said he did not want his window washed. When he stopped the car and confronted the window washer he was set upon by a group of six or seven youths.

Definitely some arrests needed.

Deputy mayor Vicki Buck said she understood why police wanted to get the window washers off the streets but she was concerned that they could end up with a conviction that stayed with them for the rest of their lives. 

Has Vicki Buck not heard of the clean slate law?

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