December 11, 2023

Locals shocked after cop assaulted trying to stop mass brawl between teens

Vince Cocurullo spoke to Melissa Chan-Green.

Whangārei residents are in shock after a planned fight between teenagers broke out before their eyes.

Footage of the fight, which happened in the suburb of Kamo last week, also showed a police officer being assaulted as he tried to intervene.

It showed officers trying to track the fighting youths on the street before the cop is pushed over from behind.

The video was uploaded to TikTok and has shocked locals.

“It is concerning to a lot of the residents… but it’s not just based in Whangārei, it’s also through the whole of Northland and New Zealand.

“There is a widespread issue with a lot of teenagers where they’re acting out, they’re not attending school, they’re causing problems – they’re saying it’s all stemming from the COVID ‘leftover’ but we’re still trying to work out what’s going on,” Whangārei District Mayor Vince Cocurullo told AM.

He said officers in the area were trying to keep on top of such antisocial behaviour but believed police needed to be given more powers.

“As you can see by this situation, the police know about the fights and they’re dealing with it – yet when it comes to the ramifications to the children afterward, they’re just putting them on to Youth Aid because that’s all that they can do,” he added.

“The police need to be given more powers and parents need to be taking more notice of what their children are doing because one of the biggest issues here is when social media spreads like this, it just creates more teenagers – more young people – coming together for these types of situations. If parents were more proactive about it… this may be alleviated and stopped,” Cocurullo told AM host Melissa Chan-Green.

Two teens were arrested following the fight, both of whom were referred to Youth Aid.

Despite the fight taking place in Kamo, the local high school said it did not involve any of its students.

“Because of social media, lots of people turned up… but certainly, none of our students were involved in instigating that or involved in what occurred,” Kamo High School board presiding member Dan Cleaver told Newshub.

Despite none of its students being involved, Cleaver said the school was “absolutely” concerned about what had taken place.

“It’s a matter of parents and the community taking ownership of their children and making sure they’re aware of where their children are and what they’re up to.

“This is not something that occurred at a school, during school hours or involving school students so it’s a community issue rather than a school one.”

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