Pro­tect your­self and love your neigh­bour

Kapi-Mana News - - RUGBY NATIONS - By MATHEW SA­MUELA Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port Porirua

Home and fam­ily se­cu­rity re­main the first pri­or­ity of Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port in pro­tect­ing your prop­erty and neigh­bours from in­trud­ers.

One ques­tion that al­ways gets asked dur­ing my pre­sen­ta­tions and work­ing at the com­mu­nity base is:

‘‘What are your rights in terms of pro­tect­ing your­self and your fam­ily from a crim­i­nal at­tack and the use of self de­fence?’’

In sec­tion 48 of the Crimes Act 1961, the law states:

‘‘Ev­ery­one is jus­ti­fied in us­ing, in the de­fence of him­self or an­other, such force as, in the cir­cum­stances as he be­lieves them to be, it is rea­son­able to use.’’

Ev­ery­one is en­ti­tled to de­fend them­selves from at­tack. But the force used in de­fence should not be out of pro­por­tion with the at­tack.

Such de­fence should not be used as an op­por­tu­nity to ex­act re­venge or to pun­ish the at­tacker.

The force used should be rea­son­able in the cir­cum­stances, and a per­son would be held ac­count­able for us­ing force in ex­cess of what was re­quired.

Even the po­lice can be held ac­count­able.

How­ever, the law does not ex­pect a per­son de­fend­ing him­self to weigh up to a nicety, the ex­act mea­sure of force re­quired, just that the force used must be rea­son­able in the cir­cum­stances.

Just as im­por­tant is how our com­mu­nity re­sponds to show­ing some con­cern for the care and wel­fare of other in­di­vid­u­als.

The re­cent death of an el­derly pen­sioner at the New­town flats brought at­ten­tion to how im­por­tant it is to know your neigh­bours.

He had been dead for more than a year and no-one knew, be­cause there were no reg­u­lar checks from the land­lord or his neigh­bours.

We all have grand­par­ents or par­ents who may be frail and if we can’t be there to look out for them, it would be com­fort­ing to know they have neigh­bours or good peo­ple to watch out for them.

Re­cently a friend of mine helped an el­derly neigh­bour who had fallen over in the street. This el­derly per­son suf­fers from de­men­tia and her part­ner didn’t re­alise she had wan­dered out. Lucky an alert and car­ing neigh­bour did.

The next day my friend went out and cov­ered the potholes and un­even ground to pre­vent any fur­ther mishaps. That’s what good neigh­bours do.

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