New info packs will help victims of crime
The packs include contact phone numbers of organisations able to help in the aftermath of a crime, crime prevention tips and a record of possessions people can fill in after being burgled.
There is also information on what to do about truants, rural security and the Crimestoppers initiative, in which people can ring 0800 555 111 and report crimes anonymously.
Neighbourhood Support manager Ron Averes said the pack aimed to arm people with ways to deal with crime so they were proactive, not living in fear.
The idea was borrowed from Rotorua, where it was working well.
Neighbourhood Support is an organisation that helps people get to know their neighbours so they can support each other in instances of crime or civil defence emergencies.
Its purpose is to make people’s home, streets, neighbourhoods and communities safer places in which to live.
Working closely with the police, fire service, the Whakatane District Council and civil defence, support groups are given the skills and training to cope with things like fire and protection in their homes.
The groups are provided with information about offences in their neighbours so they know what to look out for, and in turn pass on anything they learn to the police.
There are 260 neighbourhood support groups operating in the Whakatane area, ranging in size from two households to 24.
In the 10 months to October there were 820 offences reported to the Whakatane police, including 332 burglaries.
Mr Averes said 80 per cent of these offences occurred in areas without Neighbourhood Support.
In recent times rural burglaries had been high.
In the rural community it is even more important to have someone looking out for you.
He said often people did not see crimes being committed but they did notice the people responsible in the area around the time.
Community Constable Spike Dickey said it was impressive how people were taking responsibility for their own wellbeing.
“The community needs to look out for themselves and be proactive,” he said. “We play a part, the police, but the community need to play a proactive role – not be vigilantes, but take a common sense approach.”