Res­i­dents tired of steady crime

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - AMELIA CHRIS­TENSEN-ROSE, WIN­TEC JOUR­NAL­ISM STU­DENT

Res­i­dents of Dins­dale, For­est Lake and Naw­ton are fed up with ag­gra­vated rob­beries plagu­ing the area.

Around 100 con­cerned cit­i­zens filled Aberdeen Pri­mary School’s hall on Septem­ber 5 to dis­cuss what they could do about the is­sue and to hear what dif­fer­ent political par­ties had to say.

The meet­ing was or­gan­ised by Noe­line Jef­feries and Adri­enne Corfe due to the re­cent in­crease in ag­gra­vated in­ci­dents in the area over the past few months.

Aberdeen Dairy, a pop­u­lar choice for stu­dents of Aberdeen School, was the vic­tim of two rob­beries within six weeks; res­i­dents have seen sus­pi­cious cars go­ing down their drive­ways at night and strangers peep­ing through their win­dows; and peo­ple have been knock­ing on doors mak­ing false claims they are there to mow lawns.

Some­one even had their car­a­van stolen.

‘‘One el­derly lady that I met when do­ing my let­ter­box drop told me that she lives in the Sal­va­tion Army vil­lage and they of­ten have their med­i­ca­tion stolen,’’ Jef­fries said.

Neil Tolan from the Western Com­mu­nity Cen­tre wants com­mu­nity con­sta­bles and Hamil­ton City Coun­cil com­mu­nity ad­vis­ers back across the city.

‘‘I be­lieve these changes would sig­nif­i­cantly strengthen and bet­ter re­source our com­mu­nity,’’ he said.

In 2013, the West Hamil­ton Polic­ing Cen­tre on Whatawhata Rd was closed to cen­tralise po­lice and staff. A year later, the Naw­ton Polic­ing Cen­tre closed with the Naw­ton con­sta­bles also be­ing cen­tralised.

The rea­son be­hind the cen­tral­is­ing was that a new model of work­ing would ‘‘be bet­ter’’ - but Tolan said that wasn’t the case.

‘‘We used to have a polic­ing cen­tre just 800 me­tres from [Aberdeen] school. It had 25 staff in­clud­ing two non-sworn staff and pro­vided a com­plete polic­ing ser­vice.

‘‘Many Hamil­ton West res­i­dents have ex­pe­ri­enced and seen first-hand the ben­e­fits of hav­ing their own polic­ing cen­tres and their own lo­cal con­sta­bles.’’

At­ten­dees in­cluded Na­tional MP Tim MacIn­doe, Labour can­di­date Dr Guava Sharma, NZ First Can­di­date Shayne Wi­hongi, Hamil­ton City Coun­cil­lors An­gela O’Leary and James Cas­son, and Deputy Mayor Martin Gal­lagher.

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