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.