For them safety is a pri­or­ity

Central Leader - - News -

If the Cabi­net and rankand-file MPs doubt that the com­mu­nity has deep-seated fears that will be mir­rored in the gen­eral elec­tion cam­paign, they should think again.

Those wor­ries are there ev­ery time some­one reads yet an­other head­line on vi­o­lence and death, con­cerns about walk­ing what were once safe sub­ur­ban streets and shop­ping cen­tres and a wide­spread be­lief that the P plague draws too many of too few po­lice away from cit­i­zens’ ba­sic rights to safety.

All this is re­flected in th­ese abridged ver­sions of a con­tin­u­ing flow of let­ters:

Trevor Bringans: “I have had a busi­ness in Manukau city since 1982. Dur­ing that time we have had a num­ber of ma­jor bur­glar­ies.

“The po­lice ar­rive one or two days later. They give me a slip of pa­per which val­i­dates the ‘crime’. This al­lows me to claim my losses from my in­sur­ers.

“I have found shop­ping lists within the break-in area. Some are ma­jor. But now, be­cause I have the place but­tressed like Fort Knox, I have no break-ins.

“The point is that the po­lice do not care, can­not be in­volved, do not have the man­power, do not want to know, have far more im­por­tant things to do.

“The gov­ern­ment is the sole body to pro­tect in­di­vid­u­als. It has ducked its re­spon­si­bil­ity, sadly and to ev­ery­one’s detri­ment.

“Gangs and law-break­ers must be re­moved, they can­not ex­ist in our so­ci­ety. But I guar­an­tee noth­ing will be done.”

Ju­nior Munokoa, a se­cu­rity en­gi­neer and an in­ves­ti­ga­tor: “I was once a se­cu­rity guard, and, now that I am close to hav­ing a de­gree in en­gi­neer­ing, I am a se­cu­rity en­gi­neer.

“For many months, my more ded­i­cated part­ners and I chased van­dals, ar­rested them and de­liv­ered them to the po­lice.

“Un­for­tu­nately, my part­ners and I had to bear with fel­low se­cu­rity guards who were hard-core un­em­ploy­able, only there for the dol­lar.

“More­over, we had to deal with a pub­lic who did not want to ac­knowl­edge us, who felt we should not ar­rest th­ese van­dals, be­cause we were ‘not cops’.

“Now, some­body in Manukau City Coun­cil wants private se­cu­rity guards to pa­trol the city. I ap­plaud this.

“Where are th­ese se­cu­rity guards go­ing to come from? Will they be drawn from our for­mer part­ners who are only there for the dol­lar?”

Joshua Rai­son: “It is amaz­ing how the pub­lic com­plain about the in­crease in crime, they hear about other shops and busi­nesses get­ting robbed but when it comes to spend­ing money on their se­cu­rity they think of any ex­cuse not to in­vest.

“Their ex­cuse is ‘it will never hap­pen to me’.

“I am an ex-pat from South Africa and I can tell you about crime, rape, mur­der, etc. It starts with the lit­tle stuff then gets big­ger as the thieves be­come greedy and think it is easy to steal.

“We should be out there mak­ing it harder with alarm sys­tems, track­ing de­vices on our cars, CCTV cam­eras for our busi­ness, con­trol who comes in and out of our of­fices/build­ings and make a stand that we will no longer tol­er­ate crime.

“We can’t keep blam­ing the po­lice, the econ­omy, etc. We, as the pub­lic, must take a stance.

“I am not sug­gest­ing vig­i­lantes but pro­tect­ing our loved ones and pos­ses­sions with tech­nol­ogy and mak­ing the thieves move on.” • Mr Rai­son’s let­ter makes clear he is in­volved in a se­cu­rity com­pany.

Des Fox, Arkles Bay: “To turn the youth in our so­ci­ety around I sug­gest com­pul­sory mil­i­tary train­ing for all 18 years old, the same pro­gramme I par­tic­i­pated in at 18 in the 1950s in­volv­ing the com­bined skills of self-clean­li­ness, self-dis­ci­pline, self- worth, and self-con­fi­dence.

“It also teaches one to be an im­por­tant part of a team ef­fort. Th­ese are the skills miss­ing in a large pro­por­tion of the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion. If you can­not care for or like your­self then you can­not be­gin to care about other peo­ple’s lives or prop­erty.

“Pris­ons should be run more like the army with pris­on­ers ex­pected to work com­bined with stren­u­ous ex­er­cise 12 to 14 hours a day.”

Bruce Douglas: “The let­ter to you from the mother about the way her son and his friend were treated by the po­lice and the courts ap- palled me. You hear about this sort of thing from the UK and the US but I had hoped that we had more com­mon sense.

“I find it dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand how the po­lice force which is fairly heavy­handed when con­fronted by gangs and the like should so com­pletely pun­ish the vic­tims and let the cul­prits go. I come from Zim­babwe where this com­plete back-to-front sys­tem of jus­tice is com­mon­place but I didn’t think I would ever see it here.”

Bernard Mo­ran: “The aw­ful thing is that I wasn’t sur­prised by the mother’s let­ter. It re­minded me of a re­mark by a re­tir­ing se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer some years ago: ‘They can’t teach com­mon sense at po­lice col­lege’.”

Bruce Mor­ley: “Re crime, prop­erty, self-pro­tec­tion, etc. I re­cently wrote a lit­tle dog­gerel that I now re­cite daily to jolly my­self up: ‘

To con­tact Pat Booth email: off­pat@snl.co.nz. All replies are open for pub­li­ca­tion un­less marked.

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