Safety first at Asian expo
By NICOLA WILLIAMS - Eastern Courier | Wednesday, 08 October 2008
A serious message was delivered along with fun and entertainment at the Buddhist temple last month.
Between 2500 and 3000 people turned out for an Asian safety expo.
The aim was to help promote safety and understanding while building partnerships in the Asian community.
"It went very well," says organiser Rosa Chow, Asian Council for Reducing Crime chairwoman.
She says it helped Asian people to view the police in a positive light and build relationships.
It also gave an insight into what resources were available in the community.
There were a range of exhibits from the police including the Eagle helicopter, the maritime unit, dog squad and booze bus.
"I was happy to see people getting on the police motorbike and taking photos," says Ms Chow.
Having the Neighbourhood Support groups and community crime patrol "helped to show how to prevent crime without being involved in groups that are undesirable", she says.
"We may be overly critical of police but the more we know about them the better."
There were also exhibits from the Fire Service, Neighbourhood Support, Citizens Advice Bureau, Accident Compensation Corporation and Civil Defence. The expo covered a range of safety advice, including fire and water safety.
Ms Chow says it was a positive, empowering way to educate about keeping safe.
Police Commissioner Howard Broad attended and he says he was encouraged by initiatives in Counties Manukau that are leading the way for the rest of the country.
Mr Broad says the expo was a chance to mingle and talk with a focus on community services.
"It taps the enthusiasm and passion for what people want to do in the community within safe and proper means," he says.
Botany Community Board chairwoman Dyann Calverley says it was great to see all the exhibitors covering a variety of safety aspects.
"Itís fantastic, itís the way of the future.
"The board absolutely backs it in every way," she says.
Ms Chow says she is hoping to extend on the success of the expo at next yearís event.
"I hope to see more people of other ethnicities there next year," Ms Chow says.