The No Bull Christ­mas with Steve Bul­lock

Steve Bul­lock is the area com­man­der for Taupo po­lice, which en­com­passes Taupo, Tu­rangi, Toko­roa, Pu­taruru and Man­gakino po­lice sta­tions and ar­eas. For his fi­nal col­umn of the year Steve talks about Christ­mas, preven­tion and res­o­lu­tions. Foot­path paves wa

South Waikato News - - OPINION -

For many of us Christ­mas is a time for re­flect­ing on the year just gone and New Years is the time for plan­ning the next. I don’t do the res­o­lu­tions thing any­more as I found them to be a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the last year’s fail­ures. My reg­u­lar res­o­lu­tion was to lose weight and get fit, shame it only hap­pened once a year, and no, I never did lose weight or get fit, not se­ri­ously any­way. Dur­ing this past year I have tried to take the preven­tion first ap­proach to many things. Just this morn­ing, at cir­cuits, we were talk­ing about how much bet­ter we would all be feel­ing on Christ­mas day as we tucked into din­ner. Reg­u­lar train­ing now means we can eat, drink and be merry ( re­spon­si­bly of course) through­out this pe­riod with­out hav­ing to worry about the stan­dard old New Year’s res­o­lu­tion at the end of it.

Look­ing back on the year for po­lice, we have had some highs and lows. While it is great to see the crime and crash rates come down, they are still too high. We still have too many vic­tims, es­pe­cially in re­spect of fam­ily vi­o­lence, and we still have too many crooks bring­ing mis­ery to our com­mu­nity. My Christ­mas wish is that we all start tak­ing more re­spon­si­bil­ity, for each other and for our own ac­tions. When you think about it, we are the mas­ters of our own des­tiny. I am the only one who can con­trol my ac­tions. Yes, oth­ers can in­flu­ence it (wife, fam­ily, friends, wife again) but the fi­nal act is a de­ci­sion made by me and only me. Yes, I can ap­por­tion blame or make ex­cuses but at the end of the day I am re­spon­si­ble.

To any of you who have been a vic­tim of crime this year can I ask you to re­flect on how and why it oc­curred, could it have been pre­vented? Yes some­times crime is ran­dom but more of­ten than not it can be pre­vented. Could or should you have locked the door? Are you liv­ing in a healthy re­la­tion­ship? Vi­o­lence is never okay and if it is hap­pen­ing in your home chances are it will con­tinue un­til you do some­thing about it. His­tory tells us crooks do not change un­less some­thing changes for them. Speak up, there is al­ways some­one who can and will help you, al­ways. To my mind a vic­tim can never be blamed for a crime, never. How­ever, in say­ing this, we can and should re­duce the risk of be­ing a vic­tim by be­ing more re­spon­si­ble in our own ac­tions. Do not walk home alone at night, es­pe­cially if you have been drink­ing. Do not get into a car where the driver has been drink­ing. Lock up, don’t leave things out in your front yard . . the list is long and all boils down to com­mon sense, and be­ing re­spon­si­ble.

To all you crooks out there, I ask that you re­flect on this last year and con­sider what you have done, and are prob­a­bly still do­ing, to your fam­i­lies, your com­mu­ni­ties and in­deed your­selves. Don’t make a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion, make a com­mit­ment to your fam­ily, to your com­mu­nity and most im­por­tantly to your­self, and make it now. There is al­ways a bet­ter way and there is al­ways some­one who can help, you just need to look or to ask. Don’t wait to get locked up and then be re­morse­ful, change now.

To any­one who knows a vic­tim or a crook, can I ask you to re­flect on how their be­hav­iour makes you feel. How do you feel when you see in­juries? When you see the hurt, the fear, and sadly, the hu­mil­i­a­tion. How do you feel when you see the guy who has never worked a day in his life driv­ing around in his flash car or truck, liv­ing in his flash house all paid for by crime? I know you will know some­one who fits into th­ese sit­u­a­tions and if you do, then I ask that you speak up. Call us or call Crimestop­pers, do your duty to the com­mu­nity and, more im­por­tantly, your duty to each other. Do it now.

Sorry to be so som­bre at this time of the year but sadly we will have many vic­tims over Christ­mas. I for one will not be mak­ing a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion to stop vi­o­lence, my com­mit­ment to this started over 22 years ago when I joined the po­lice. I will be eat­ing and drink­ing and en­joy­ing the Christ­mas and New Year’s pe­riod and most of all I will be do­ing my very best to keep my­self, my fam­ily, my friends and my com­mu­nity safe. Not be­cause that is what I am paid to do but be­cause it is the right thing to do.

In clos­ing for the year I want to say a huge thanks to Florence Kerr and SWN for giv­ing me time and space to share my thoughts with our com­mu­nity, I also want to say thanks to our com­mu­ni­ties for help­ing us to feel safe and to be safe. Merry Christ­mas. Cre­ative de­signs were flow­ing at this year’s in­ter-school Pave­ment Art Com­pe­ti­tion.

Three teams en­tered the draw off held out­side Rachel’s Lit­tle Christ­mas Shop on Novem­ber 30.

It was a gusty day but that didn’t stop the bud­ding artists who were work­ing in with the theme ‘ some­thing christ­mas’.

Vanya Crocker judged their ef­forts and said all three teams pro­duced prize­wor­thy re­sults but it was Toko­roa In­ter­me­di­ate stu­dents Sarah Liv­ing­stone and Diva Wil­son who were top un­der the guid­ance of their art teacher.

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Photo: SUP­PLIED

Young artists: Th­ese bud­ding artists get into the Christ­mas spirit by putting chalk to con­crete.

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