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Know thy neighbours

Hawke's Bay Today
4 June 2011

Police have asked for more backing for Neighbourhood Support groups in Hastings.

Inspector Dean Clifford told the Hastings District Council's annual plan meeting on Thursday he was concerned at the loss of a dedicated Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator in the district.

"Within the Eastern District we have a burglary rate that's 50 per cent higher than the national average," he said.

"It's important that in fighting that problem it doesn't just become a police issue. The community needs to be involved."

Mr Clifford said Neighbourhood Support not only helped to prevent crime, but made communities more able to look after it members during an emergency.

"It's the people living in the neighbourhoods and the streets that look after themselves and that community cohesion, knowing your neighbours, and looking after yourselves, it's good bang for your buck."

The only financial support provided by the council, about $5000 a year, went to Napier for administering rural groups that fell within the Napier police district.

No money was allocated to Neighbourhood Support groups in Hastings.

Mayor Lawrence Yule said the council did have a staff member who worked on several community safety projects including Neighbourhood Support.

But he accepted the lack of a dedicated role would have led to a "natural attrition" among groups in Hastings.


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