Kids help keep sub­urbs safe

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Young eyes will be keep­ing a look­out for their neigh­bour­hood thanks to an ini­tia­tive be­ing run in schools by Porirua po­lice.

Last week saw the ‘‘cul­mi­na­tion day’’ of the Ju­nior Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port (JNS) pro­gramme at Holy Fam­ily School, where year 4, 5 and 6 pupils were en­cour­aged to take a role in help­ing to keep their streets safe.

Mathew Sa­muela from the Can­nons Creek Neigh­bour­hood Polic­ing Team says JNS has been run with much suc­cess in Can­ter­bury, re­ceiv­ing pos­i­tive re­sponses from chil­dren, teach­ers and par­ents, par­tic­u­larly af­ter the earth­quakes.

‘‘It’s about be­ing aware of what’s hap­pen­ing in your neigh­bour­hood, get­ting to know the peo­ple who live next to you, and re­port­ing any­thing they think is un­safe. That re­ally struck home af­ter the quakes, re­al­is­ing who you did and didn’t know in your own street.’’

Along with a sur­vey con­ducted con­cur­rently with their par­ents, chil- dren were asked what they liked and dis­liked about where they live. Noise from par­ties and cars and lit­ter topped their dis­likes, while friends, play­grounds and good neigh­bours were firmly ‘‘likes’’.

Mr Sa­muela and his team ran three ses­sions over three weeks with the Holy Fam­ily stu­dents, which fin­ished on March 29 with pre­sen­ta­tions of cer­tifi­cates from Kapi­tiMana po­lice area com­man­der John Price.

Wind­ley School is next for JNS, with four more schools to fol­low.

Holy Fam­ily’s prin­ci­pal Karl Vasau says it is im­por­tant peo­ple re­alise ‘‘home’’ does not stop at your front gate. ‘‘It’s great, the kids are tak­ing own­er­ship of their neigh­bour­hood. We’ve [the school] been bur­gled and tagged and the stu­dents know the tags and a lot about what is go­ing on around their streets. The par­ents are telling me the kids are more in­ter­ested in what’s go­ing on so I can’t speak enough about what Mat and the other neigh­bour­hood sup­port guys are do­ing.’’

Feel safe: Mathew Sa­muela from the Can­nons Creek Neigh­bour­hood Polic­ing Team with Holy Fam­ily School stu­dents, clock­wise from bot­tom left, Lekuefa Liai, Thomas Tago, Ruby Ri­p­ley and Brigi­dine Miti and one of the JNS posters.

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