For them safety is a priority
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: ‘
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