Vandalism a safety issue – 4WD club

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MATT.TSO
@thenews.co.nz

Central Otago 4WD Club members say they have concerns for public safety after finding an entrance to their Alexandra grounds vandalised.

A club member walking their dog found the steel reinforcing bar loops which secured a chain to two bollards cut and the chain removed from the entrance near Boundary Rd last Wednesday.

Club treasurer Brent Wilson said the removal of the chain was concerning as it had been put in place in January to prevent people gaining unauthorised access to club grounds and putting themselves and others at risk.

He said there had been a number of incidents involving non-club members using tracks on the river flats which the club leased from the council.

“There’s been several near-misses with motorcycles and club members have had to rescue four-wheel-drives [belonging to non-members] who have got themselves stuck.”

The chain was probably removed by a non-club member who had previously had access to the tracks before the club grounds were chained off, he said.

Mr Wilson said the vandalism had been reported to the police.

He said if the chain was returned to the club there would be no questions asked.

Mr Wilson said the bollards and chain had been a target of vandalism in the past.

He said a padlock which secured the chain had previously been interfered with and the bollards had been disturbed and pushed down a bank in earlier incidents.

The club has also had problems with people illegally cutting firewood and fly tipping in the grounds, which made a mess and created a hazard for people using the tracks.

“We see old TVs, fridges and beds tipped over the side of banks.”

Mr Wilson said club members had to give up their time to clear the rubbish and debris away from the area.

People needed to understand access to the club tracks was limited to prevent accidents between club members and unauthorised users, and to protect unauthorised users from themselves, Mr Wilson said.