City suf­fers blitz of bur­glar­ies

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - KIRSTY LAWRENCE, MIRI SCHROETER AND RICHARD MAYS

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

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