Make it hard for bur­glars


South Waikato News - - NEWS - By STEVE BUL­LOCK

For those of you who wished for a long hot sum­mer can I please ask you to stop wish­ing.

While I am en­joy­ing the warmth my cows, as in two, are grizzling (apolo­gies to the neigh­bours) and I am us­ing up win­ter feed ahead of sched­ule.

Lucky I have a day job that is less re­liant on the weather I sup­pose but to you real farm­ers out there I am feel­ing for you.

This month I would like to talk about dwelling bur­glary, that means our homes.

In­ter­na­tional and na­tional sur­veys tell us that dwelling bur­glary is the crime that com­mu­ni­ties fear the most, for those of you who have been vic­tims of this crime you will know the feel­ing and I am sure you would not wish it upon any­one.

Year to date Toko­roa is sit­ting on a 40 per­cent re­duc­tion in this crime type, this equates to 47 fewer crimes, Pu­taruru is down 16 crimes and Man­gakino 10.

A to­tal of 73 fewer homes have been bro­ken into this year, for me that is awe­some and I am ex­tremely proud of th­ese re­sults.

Once again re­sults do not come from luck, they come from hard work.

My wife, Lyn-marie and I have of­ten said to our sons that it is funny how the harder we work the luck­ier they get, the joys of be­ing a par­ent I sup­pose.

Any­way back to bur­glary and how we have achieved th­ese re­sults.

In the past po­lice fo­cussed on catch­ing bur­glars, ‘‘Bur­glars On’’ (mean­ing a bur­glary in progress) was the high­light of your shift.

Upon re­ceiv­ing a call you had full li­cence to drive fast and if the bur­glar was stupid enough (or ar­guably you drove fast enough) you could catch him or her in the act – wow, job well done.

Now if you back up the bus a bit and think about a job well done wouldn’t it be bet­ter to not have the home bro­ken into in the first place, no dam­age, no vic­tim, no feel­ings of hav­ing your home vi­o­lated and no po­lice car speed­ing through town.

For us the fo­cus is now firmly on preven­tion.

For the most we know who our bur­glars are and we fo­cus our at­ten­tion on them, let­ting them know we know if you like.

(As an aside we are al­ways keen to know more about bur­glars and in­deed any crooks in our towns so if you have any in­for­ma­tion what­so­ever be in touch, if you want to do that anony­mously please con­tact 0800 crimestop­pers).

We know that bur­glars like to steal prop­erty that can be eas­ily off­loaded or is in de­mand so we fo­cus on where they sell their ill-got­ten gains. How­ever the big­gest success in re­la­tion to prevent­ing bur­glary comes from what we call ‘‘tar­get hard­en­ing’’.

This means re­mov­ing the op­por­tu­nity for some crook to get his or her thiev­ing mitts on your prop­erty, lock­ing doors and en­sur­ing win­dows are se­cure, watch­ing over the neigh­bours prop­erty when they are away and chal­leng­ing any­one who turns up.

Alarms, se­cu­rity lights, cut­ting down trees or bushes all helps but the great­est de­ter­rent comes from the com­mu­nity, that’s you and I.

If a bur­glar feels safe in our com­mu­nity they will stay in it and con­tinue to com­mit crime (de­spite protests of ‘‘I have changed’’, yeah right), their ac­tions will in­flu­ence and ed­u­cate their chil­dren who will in turn be­come bur­glars or thieves. ‘‘Mon­key see, mon­key do’’ is the anal­ogy I think.

Not sure about you but I don’t want crooks in my com­mu­nity and I will con­tinue to do all I can to make them feel un­wel­come, please join me.

In clos­ing this month I want to once again say drive safe, think safe and be safe, al­ways.

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