Pa­trols help to stop crime

North Taranaki Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - ROLY HERMANS

Some schools can be busier dur­ing the hol­i­days than dur­ing term time.

That is be­cause a num­ber of peo­ple take the op­por­tu­nity to van­dalise and de­stroy school prop­erty. With that in mind New Ply­mouth’s Se­nior Con­sta­ble Graeme Jones has been work­ing with his lo­cal Com­mu­nity Pa­trols and School Com­mu­nity Of­fi­cers to pre­vent crime on school premises dur­ing the break.

‘‘Two years ago I utilised In­tel to an­a­lyse of­fend­ing within ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties dur­ing school hol­i­days over the pre­vi­ous three years,’’ said Jones. ‘‘This re­vealed that crime tended to in­crease by up to 70% in ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties dur­ing school hol­i­days, when no ca­pa­ble guardians were present.’’

The so­lu­tion to the prob­lem is the Com­mu­nity Pa­trols, which keep a close eye on school grounds dur­ing the hol­i­days.

Af­ter be­ing train­ing on ob­ser­va­tion skills, ini­tial ac­tion, health and safety aware­ness and ra­dio pro­to­cols and use, the Com­mu­nity Pa­trols are able to carry out th­ese tasks with min­i­mal risk.

‘‘I mon­i­tor the pa­trol in­ci­dent re­ports weekly to iden­tify if any schools have in­se­cure premises, and make sure they are con­tacted,’’ said Jones. Build­ings can be­come in­se­cure if con­trac­tors leave doors open or teach­ers for­get to lock a door or leave a com­puter on af­ter they have been work­ing dur­ing the hol­i­days.

New Ply­mouth School Com­mu­nity Of­fi­cer Con­sta­ble Tony Brown­rigg said the ex­change of in­for­ma­tion was a two-way process.

‘‘I give Graeme in­for­ma­tion about schools that are hav­ing is­sues with dam­age, dis­or­der, drink­ing, bro­ken glass, and so on,’’ Brown­rigg said. ‘‘And he gives me in­for­ma­tion from the pa­trollers about se­cu­rity risks such as com­puter screens light­ing up rooms, or in­se­cure premises.’’

Brown­rigg stresses to his schools that the Com­mu­nity Pa­trols are ad­di­tional to any se­cu­rity pa­trols that the school cur­rently has, and not a re­place­ment.

‘‘Re­ported crime in schools dur­ing this year’s hol­i­days is cur­rently sit­ting be­tween 0% and 2%,’’ said Jones. ‘‘Over­all this ini­tia­tive has seen a mas­sive re­duc­tion in crime and re­peat vic­tim­i­sa­tion.’’

❚ Roly Hermans is the Co­or­di­na­tor Schools Na­tional Pre­ven­tion Cen­tre New Zealand Po­lice.

SUPPLIED

Fitzroy School Prin­ci­pal John Mans­field with Com­mu­nity Pa­trollers Mag­gie Con­stance and Ray Cronin and School Com­mu­nity Of­fi­cer Tony Brown­rigg.

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