Police deployed to high-risk areas
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.’’