CBD bur­glar­ies high­est

Central Leader - - News -

The num­bers paint a grim pic­ture of Auck­land’s cen­tral city bur­glary rate, but po­lice say it’s not all doom and gloom.

Fig­ures re­leased by Statis­tics New Zealand show the area had the most bur­glar­ies per head of pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try be­tween Jan­uary and June last year, with 139.1 in­ci­dents.

Sergeant Jane Galilee, who heads up the city’s bur­glary squad, says staff deal with far more bur­glar­ies in the sur­round­ing sub­urbs than the city cen­tre.

The city has a small res­i­den­tial pop­u­la­tion which skews the statis­tics.

Gen­er­ally there might be one or two bur­glar­ies re­ported for the cen­tral city each day or none at all, she says.

“It’s mostly offices and com­mer­cial build­ings.”

Apart­ments are also oc­ca­sion­ally bur­gled.

Bur­glars of­ten tar­get elec- tronic items like lap­tops, pro­jec­tors and tele­vi­sions in of­fice build­ings.

“The other as­pect is high-end cloth­ing and sun­glasses,” says Ms Galilee.

The city had a spate of safes be­ing stolen late last year and early this year.

“Peo­ple have a false sense of se­cu­rity that if they have stuff in a safe, it’s safe,” she says.

But if the safe isn’t built into a wall or bolted to the floor, it can eas­ily be taken.

Crime scene at­ten­dant Rus­sell Vin­cent says there are mea­sures peo­ple can take to make their work­places safer, such as keep­ing safes out of sight and hav­ing valu­ables locked away.

The city had a re­cent rash of op­por­tunis­tic bur­glar­ies, known as “stair danc­ing”, where thieves walk into offices and take bags and wal­lets.

Po­lice sent out a no­tice to busi­nesses at the start of the year warn­ing about the crime.

Stair dancers of­ten take things like swipe cards left in re­cep­tion draws to ac­cess the build­ing later, or steal credit cards and phone the owner pre­tend­ing to be the bank to get the PIN num­ber.

Ms Galilee says work­ers should chal­lenge strangers they find walk­ing around in the build­ing and ask what they are do­ing.

Busi­nesses and res­i­dents also stand a bet­ter chance of hav­ing their stolen goods re­turned if they record se­rial num­bers on elec­tron­ics.

Not only will the elec­tron­ics be traced to their own­ers, but it can lead to other items like jew­ellery taken in the same bur­glary be­ing re­cov­ered, says Mr Vin­cent.

For more safety tips, go to www.po­lice.govt.nz.

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