Auckland Police are advising drivers not to tip window washers and to stay in their cars if approached.
The advice follows two incidents involving window washers over the past few weeks.
The first incident happened at the intersection of Great South Road and Greenlane West at around 10 pm on Wednesday May 4. A man who was waiting at the lights refused to let the window washers clean his windscreen, he then got out of his car and was allegedly hit over the head with a cleaning brush.
Police were called to the scene and apprehended the suspects a short time later. The driver needed medical treatment.
The second incident happened just two days after the first, when a group of window washers surrounded a motorist’s vehicle and punched the passenger because they refused to pay for the wash. The incident was caught on camera by a witness.
Inspector Andy King, Auckland City Police, says: “This is an ongoing challenge for us and we are putting a lot of work into stopping window washers. However, in the meantime, we ask the public to help us by making it not worth their while, don’t pay them and don’t engage with them.”
Officers are now running patrols on major intersections.
Facebook users who were asked for their opinion on the growing tension between motorists and window washers, said:
“I tip them, only once though. I only do it because they are doing something with their life rather than just shaking a cup and holding a sign on the footpath like some do,” wrote one.
“Tip them. Most aren’t able to get legit jobs. The system has failed them,” wrote another.
A few Facebook users saw the positive side to it.
“At least they work for their money unlike them bums who beg for it.” And, “I think they’re just tryna (sic) make a living like the rest of us but if there’s bugger all jobs out there then what’s a man to do Better than selling drugs I guess.”