Police could 'whack' window washers with fines - Ross

Police could 'whack' window washers with fines - Ross

Auckland Council's bylaw has failed to stop window washers intimidating people at intersections, so an MP is stepping in.

Jami-Lee Ross, MP for Botany, has submitted a member's Bill which would give police the power to issue $150 fines on the spot.

"The council is trying their best, but it costs a lot of money to take a prosecution -- takes a lot of time as well," he told Paul Henry on Thursday.

At the moment, the council has to prosecute window washers through the courts, under the city's Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw. Since its introduction in 2014, 57 have been prosecuted, with fines falling between $200 and $400.

But it costs thousands of dollars to prosecute each case, and Mr Ross says ratepayers are being "socked".

His Bill would mean window washers wouldn't end up in court unless they refused to pay the spot fine.

"The police can whack them every single day if they want to," says Mr Ross. "They can target them as often as they want, very quickly -- they just write a fine like they do a speeding ticket."

But it could take years to become law, even if it wins cross-party support -- as a member's Bill, it sits in the ballot until it is drawn through pure chance.

Mr Ross says it's urgent though, so hopes it gets picked up by the Government.

"They intimidate people. It's fine for me -- I'm a big guy, they're not going to attack me -- but there are little old ladies, there are migrants that come to this country that are easy targets for window washers, and we need to sort it out."