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Safer Community & Community Watch

SECURITY IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

I have heard of several incidents and other odd behaviour in the area that concern me as a former Police Officer.

One was the apparent case of a young man wandering around disorientated from either drugs or mental illness. The other concern is thefts or burglaries as the better weather brings more people to the beaches. Most thieves are opportunists and so more people means a greater risk of someone criminally inclined passing through. It is almost a certainty that some of us will be burgled before the summer is over, so do what you can now to minimize the risk.

Other strange behaviour has been reported to me, and without going into that it is a timely reminder to take a note of what is going on around you. If you get the feeling that something isn’t right, then it usually isn’t. So take down details, photographs if possible, and report it. There is nothing like a camera to scare off someone with dishonest intentions.

Don’t think that something is ever too trivial for the Police, It is the small things that are often overlooked that sometimes prove to be essential clues. Do call them, even if you think the incident is trivial, because it will help them to build up a case history and eventually deal with the problem (if there is one).  If you have any doubts then discuss it with a neighbour first.

The Police are realistically thirty minutes away if called out to an incident here, so dealing with the incident yourself may be necessary while you wait for their attendance. Information is paramount for the Police to work effectively, and your observation and recording of details allow them to be more effective.

Criminals move about by car just like everybody else, so this is potentially their greatest weakness. If you are in the slightest bit suspicious about anybody, then taking down the registration number of their car is probably one of the most important pieces of information for the Police. Always try and back up that number with basic information like colour, style and make, as potential thieves have been known to swap plates over. Again a photograph taken from a cellphone or digital camera may prove invaluable in catching criminals. Note a description of people in the car, as thieves don’t usually work alone.

If someone turns up at your door unsolicited, then they may just be planning to burgle your house but are checking to see if anyone is home. Take down that registration number! Report any and all unusual movements, as these checks are stored on the intelligence database and can be matched up to any crimes in the area.

As always, I am available anytime for free, unbiased advice on safety and security issues. If you are interested in starting or getting involved in a community watch group in your part of Mahurangi West please contact either Miriam in Opahi Bay on 422 0054 or Sabina on The Bullock Track 422 0629.

Please print this off and pass on to neighbours without email.

Regards,

Jason Stewart

09 422 0054

Opahi Bay

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