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