Cops respond to van signage complaints


Queenstown police may contact the Advertising Standards Authority after complaints about an offensive message and image on a campervan. 

The graffiti-style message and drawing was on a van rented from budget New Zealand and Australian operator Wicked Campers spotted in town. 

It appears to make reference to a form of intercourse and how it does not result in pregnancy. The accompanying drawing shows South Korean K-pop star PSY appearing to perform the act with a woman. 

The video for PSY’s international hit single Gangnam Style, which has one billion hits on YouTube, shows the star performing a distinctive dance. 

“A Queenstown resident saw the van and was so upset they took photos of it and gave them to us,” senior constable Chris Blackford says. 

Blackford says the photos will be forwarded to the police’s legal department, who will contact the Advertising Standards Authority and the company asking them to remove the slogan and photo if deemed offensive. 

Wicked boss, Australian John Webb, says: “They’re dancing on the side; the saying is not related to the sign. We got that statement off a Kiwi girl that works for us – she always used to say it. It’s a cute saying – it means don’t rear-end me. No meaning to it.” 

Officer Facebook 

Queenstown police has heralded the success of using social media to catch suspects and criminals. 

Several offenders and alleged offenders have either been tracked down by the public or handed themselves in after photos were posted on the force’s Facebook site. 

They included a 75-year-old British tourist who stole a piece of fabric art from Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown and was arrested on a tour bus in Te Anau. On Sunday, an 18-year-old man living in Queens­town presented himself at the police station after officers posted CCTV images of an incident outside Night ‘n’ Day on 
Camp Street. The man has been charged with assault. 

“It’s another tool in our arsenal,” Blackford says. 

“It has assisted police in resolving some fairly serious incidents in recent weeks. We’re always on the look-out for ways of increasing our success rate in apprehending criminals and Facebook enables the public to assist us in a positive way.” 

Child missing for an hour 

A three-year-old boy sparked a major CBD search after wandering away from his parents and walking 600m to a playground. 

The child went missing from Steamer Wharf on Tuesday afternoon after his parents lost sight of him while he was feeding ducks. They searched frantically for half-an-hour before calling police. Another 30 minutes passed before the child was located, safe and well, playing on the Bathhouse playground around the other side of Queenstown Bay. 

“Obviously the parents were quite distressed. He made his own way there,” Blackford says. 

Opportunistic theft 

A Cambridge resident had a $4000 camera and hunting gear stolen from a Queenstown street in the middle of the day. The victim and a friend were waiting for a pick-up outside Subway on Camp Street on Tuesday at noon. 

The camera was in a blue bag with binoculars, clothing and boots.

“When they went to put the bag in the van, it had been taken. It appears to be opportunistic,” Blackford says. 

Camp Street violence 

Queenstown police were called to two separate booze-fuelled brawls on Camp Street last Saturday. 

The first incident involved a fight between a man and an unknown group at 1am. One man received a cut lip. Enquiries are continuing. 

Soon after, cops were called to an altercation outside Camp St’s Night ‘n’ Day store at 3.30am. Two men became involved in “verbal spray” with another group of men before it became physical, Blackford says. 

Police are reviewing CCTV footage.