Bur­glary trou­bles


Bur­glar­ies con­tinue to plague Palmer­ston North res­i­dents, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Fig­ures re­leased by po­lice through Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port show that al­though down on the highs of the De­cem­ber to Jan­uary hol­i­day pe­riod, there are still an av­er­age of 25 break-ins each week.

Awa­puni, cen­tral city and High­bury had been par­tic­u­larly hard-hit re­cently, though the bur­glar­ies are spread city-wide.

Sergeant Mike Yates from Com­mu­nity Polic­ing said elec­tron­ics and jew­ellery were the prime tar­geted items.

Zinny, an 18-month-old trainee po­lice dog, and han­dler Con­sta­ble Sam Chambers joined Yates and mem­bers of the NZ Com­mu­nity Pa­trol and vol­un­teers from Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port in Awa­puni last week, hand­ing out Safer Com­mu­ni­ties To­gether fly­ers.

Yates said the let­ters were dropped off to let­ter­boxes within 100 me­tres of a bur­glary.

It is a rou­tine that had be­come all too fa­mil­iar, with many res­i­dents too re­laxed about their home se­cu­rity. Some were not even tak­ing ba­sic pre­cau­tions of se­cur­ing win­dows and doors.

He asked peo­ple to be se­cu­rity con­scious and also vig­i­lant.

‘‘Please re­port sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour. We have had sev­eral suc­cessess from peo­ple phon­ing in on 111.’’

Yates said when call­ing, peo­ple should give as many de­tails as pos­si­ble about the per­son they were de­scrib­ing.

‘‘Note the ba­sic de­tails - what they’re wear­ing, any dis­tin­guish­ing or iden­ti­fy­ing marks on their cloth­ing.’’

That goes for any ve­hi­cles and their reg­is­tra­tions.

It’s ad­vice Chambers re­in­forces.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant to re­port what you know, not what you think you know. Give as ac­cu­rate a de­scrip­tion as pos­si­ble. It’s im­por­tant to us to iden­tify that per­son.’’

Chambers also had some dos and don’ts when po­lice were us­ing dogs to track of­fend­ers.

‘‘We’ll iden­tify our­selves. Don’t come out to talk to us, stay in­side, and se­cur­ing your own an­i­mals in­side is a huge help.’’

It is also im­por­tant not to give chase as that can com­pro­mise the per­pe­tra­tor’s track, and also per­sonal safety.

Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port’s Sian Bullen said they were be­ing proac­tive about strength­en­ing ex­ist­ing groups and set­ting up new ones to help neigh­bours look out for one an­other and their prop­er­ties.

Com­mu­nity Pa­trols’ Toni Fer­ris, Sergeant Mike Yates and Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port’s Bruce Geange.

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