Whangārei police are appealing for calm, and some common sense, after up to 20 school students, and adults associated with them, were involved in a series of brawls in the central city after school yesterday.
Police were called to the Cameron St mall shortly before 3pm yesterday after reports of two groups of students fighting. The brawling then continued through Quality St and into the Vine St carpark and Rose St bus terminal.
Acting Senior Sergeant Christian Stainton said the situation was made worse by adults associated with the two groups of students, including older family members, getting involved and escalating the violence.
Stainton said the brawls involved a lot of disorder and disruption for the CBD and those going about their business in the area.
He said two adults were arrested and charged with disorder and fighting in public. A number of students were also expected to be spoken to by police.
At least a dozen police rushed to the scene to quell the violence.
It was the second confrontation between two groups of students in two days in Whangārei.
Whangārei police have recovered a BB gun and a knife following a stand-off between students at Kamo High School.
That incident happened about 11.20am on Tuesday with a group of students who were in possession of knives, and another student who had the BB gun.
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Stainton said yesterday’s brawling was not related to the Kamo High School incident. It was not clear what school, or schools, the students yesterday were from.
However, it was worrying that students were openly fighting and that adults were then getting involved, which would only escalate things.
He urged people who may be contemplating further violence to calm down and show some common sense.
”This has ended up becoming a large disorder which has caused disruption to the CBD,” Stainton said.
”We’re just calling on the students, and the adults who are with these kids to calm down and apply some common sense.”
The brawls were witnessed by many shoppers and workers, with one woman who witnessed some of the brawling describing it as ‘scary and feral’.
”They were running through (Quality St) and fighting and swearing. It was terrible,” the woman, who did not want to be named, said.