Police: Hen­der­son safer

Western Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - TORIKA TOKALAU

An Auck­land town cen­tre where one of West Auck­land’s fa­tal stab­bings oc­curred is safer now, police say.

In 2014, Arun Ku­mar was stabbed to death in­side his dairy shop in Rail­side Av­enue in Hen­der­son. Ku­mar’s death and other high pro­file in­ci­dents forced police to es­tab­lish a neigh­bor­hood polic­ing unit in 2015.

Hen­der­son Neigh­bour­hood Polic­ing Teams Sergeant Dan Weir said the over­all crime rate in the town cen­tre has de­creased by 20 per cent since they started.

‘‘There’s cer­tainly a re­duc­tion in crime and you have to look at the statis­tics to get an idea. Some of our big­gest wins have been specif­i­cally around re­duc­tion in shopl-ift­ing and pub­lic-based vi­o­lence, like fight­ing in the street,’’ Weir said.

Weir ad­mit­ted the town cen­tre had earned a bad rep­u­ta­tion for it­self be­fore 2015. Lo­cals felt is­sues like shoplift­ing, ag­gres­sive beg­ging and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour was pre­vent­ing Hen­der­son from reach­ing its full po­ten­tial, he said. There was also the per­cep­tion young peo­ple who gath­ered in the area were trou­ble­mak­ers.

De­spite the de­crease in crime rate, there were still crime trends that popped up but were not spe­cific to Hen­der­son, in­clud­ing syn­thetic drugs and drug use. There were also iso­lated in­ci­dents which of­ten changed peo­ple’s per­cep­tion of crime in the town cen­tre, he said.

Sergeant Dan Weir of the Hen­der­son Neigh­bor­hood Polic­ing Team.

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