Po­lice de­ployed to high-risk ar­eas

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By COLIN EN­GEL­BRECHT

A shift in fo­cus to crime pre­ven­tion has led to po­lice re­sources be­ing moved away from com­mu­nity- based con­sta­bles to spe­cially fo­cused teams placed in high-risk ar­eas.

Crime pre­ven­tion team su­per­vi­sor sergeant Jonathan Westrupp said high- risk ar­eas such as Can­nons Creek, Nae­nae and Courte­nay Place had ded­i­cated polic­ing teams con­sist­ing of six of­fi­cers, re­spon­si­ble for crime pre­ven­tion and polic­ing.

A team of four of­fi­cers will take re­spon­si­bil­ity for polic­ing the lower-risk wider Porirua area.

‘‘This doesn’t mean that there will be fewer of­fi­cers in lower-risk ar­eas,’’ he said. ‘‘There are still the same num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers as be­fore, they’re just be­ing de­ployed more ef­fec­tively.’’

The smaller crime pre­ven­tion team is run­ning a project in the Porirua CBD aimed at pre­vent­ing shoplift­ing and low­er­ing rates of of­fend­ing in public places.

‘‘ We’re fo­cus­ing on boost­ing public per­cep­tion of the CBD as a safe place,’’ he said.

The po­lice part­nered with agen­cies such as Porirua City Coun­cil and Ngati Toa in its lat­est en­deav­our.

Fam­ily vi­o­lence is an­other area in which there are changes.

It used to be the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the com­mu­nity constable, but will now be cov­ered by the constable and two oth­ers, a de­tec­tive sergeant and a de­tec­tive.

Po­lice of­fi­cers now have iPhones with spe­cialised po­lice apps, al­low­ing them to be more mo­bile.

They can be dis­patched to a call­out via the phone, and also dic­tate de­tails to a typ­ist and have the de­tails emailed back to them.

Part of the new preven­ta­tive mea­sures in­cludes po­lice re­fer­ring vic­tims on to ser­vices that can help pre­vent fur­ther prob­lems.

Westrupp said, for ex­am­ple, that if there was a bur­glary at a gov­ern­ment-owned prop­erty, the of­fi­cer could re­fer the vic­tim to Hous­ing New Zealand to have win­dow latches in­stalled, or what­ever was re­quired to stop it hap­pen­ing again.

‘‘Pre­ven­tion should be the first thing we con­sider.’’

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