City suffers blitz of burglaries
Burglary and theft numbers are on the rise in Manawatu, with some residents concerned police are not doing enough to catch the perpetrators.
Statistics New Zealand figures show there were 408 victims of theft and related offences in the Manawatu area in August last year, with the numbers jumping to 582 in August 2016 – a 42.6 per cent increase.
Mele Foua said her car was broken into in October, with a camera, phone and sentimental items taken that belonged to her husband, who died earlier this year.
Foua called 111 the day her car was broken into and said she was transferred to a centre to make a report. A few days later she called again to provide further information but said two weeks later she received a call stating the file had only just landed on an officer’s desk.
‘‘He said he was sending through a questionnaire and to answer the questionnaire and send it back.’’ But Foua never received it. Sergeant Mike Yates, in charge of the Highbury community policing team, said there had been a significant increase in the number of burglaries and thefts in the past month.
He said preventing burglaries was a priority for police, but people needed to report suspicious behaviour to stop crime from happening.
He felt there was a barrier for people calling 111 as they felt it was only for ‘‘emergencies’’.
‘‘We just want to encourage people to ring. Even if there is an innocent explanation, we don’t mind at all.
Statistics NZ shows there were 240 victims of burglaries in Manawatu in August last year, with the numbers jumping to 267 in August 2016 – an 11.3 per cent increase.
Rising burglary numbers have come in spite of Minister of Police Judith Collins pressing police to attend all dwelling burglaries.
Police area crime prevention manager Inspector Dave White said it can sometimes take time to provide victims with a positive resolution.
‘‘We know that can be frustrating for the victim following such an invasive and personal crime.’’
Neighbourhood Support field officer Sian Bullen said there had been 90 residential burglaries in the past three weeks, with streets in Awapuni, Central, Milverton, Roslyn, Takaro, and Terrace End particularly hard hit.
Bullen said homeowners needed to take precautions and echoed Yates’ advice for people to report suspicious activity.
‘‘We just want to encourage people to ring."’’ Mike Yates, police sergeant