Crooks ham­mer Waipa district

Cambridge Edition - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MIKE BAIN

Waipa com­mu­nity lead­ers are des­per­ate for a change in the way their towns are po­liced as crim­i­nals con­tinue to ham­mer the district.

Three ram-raids have been re­ported on Waipa busi­nesses over sum­mer, the lat­est on a petrol ser­vice sta­tion.

Cam­bridge Com­mu­nity Board Chair­man Mike Pet­tit is again ap­peal­ing for an end to the Waikato Po­lice Hub and a re­turn to 24/7 polic­ing in town.

The hub was in­tro­duced in 2015 and pro­vides Cam­bridge with po­lice cov­er­age from Te Awa­mutu overnight.

In the lat­est se­ri­ous crime, a stolen car was driven through the glass doors of the gas sta­tion at Kara­piro, near Cam­bridge, early on Mon­day morn­ing. It fol­lowed two days af­ter a ram raid on the Cam­bridge branch of sport cloth­ing re­tailer, Stir­ling Sports, with the com­pany’s Te Awa­mutu branch tar­geted in the same man­ner at the end of Fe­bru­ary.

Pet­tit, far from happy, said the tim­ing of the raids tell the story.

‘‘These crim­i­nals know when the towns are vul­ner­a­ble and are act­ing ac­cord­ingly. More of this type of bur­glary is in­evitable with re­ac­tive, rather than the proac­tive polic­ing model we had be­fore changes in 2015.’’

Cam­bridge Cham­ber of Com- merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Ta­nia Withe­ford also wants to see an ur­gent po­lice staffing re­view for Cam­bridge.

‘‘We are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a spate of crime, where ve­hi­cles are used as the blunt tool for en­try.

‘‘It has the po­ten­tial to in­flict per­sonal, phys­i­cal harm, as well as sig­nif­i­cant and costly dam­age to the vic­tims’ prop­erty, not­with­stand­ing the cost of stolen items.

‘‘The cost of this crime does not stop there for the vic­tims. There is an im­pact on staff, health, well­be­ing and per­for­mance, lost rev­enue over any pe­riod of clo­sure, as well as the cost of the re­pairs, in­creased in­sur­ance and in­creased costs in se­cu­rity mea­sures.’’

Crime sta­tis­tics from an Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest pre­sented to the com­mu­nity board and West­ern Waikato Po­lice Area Com­man­der Naila Has­san re­vealed crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity had steadily in­creased since changes were made to the way po­lice pa­trolled Cam­bridge in 2015.

Has­san said at the time she was sat­is­fied with how the new com­mand cen­tre was run­ning, with the staff she had at her dis­posal, but would con­tinue to ‘‘look at the sit­u­a­tion’’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.