Be vig­i­lant to pre­vent bur­glar­ies

Waihi Leader - - News - By CAR­MEN HALL [email protected]­hileader.co.nz

Po­lice are urg­ing Waihi res­i­dents to be vig­i­lant as thieves con­tinue to com­mit bur­glar­ies in the area.

Waihi Se­nior Con­sta­ble Har­ley North says the trade in stolen prop­erty is pri­mar­ily fu­elled by drugs.

“Users trade in stolen prop­erty to sup­port their ad­dic­tions. There’s also the typ­i­cal dis­hon­est crook who’d rather steal to sur­vive than work for a liv­ing and some youth of­fend­ing, al­though youth of­fend­ing is cur­rently the low­est I have ob­served in the last 10 years.”

Al­though Waihi’s bur­glary num­bers pale in com­par­i­son to other parts of the coun­try, po­lice are work­ing hard to pre­vent bur­glary and hold of­fend­ers to ac­count.

Power tools, build­ing ma­te­ri­als, cash, jew­ellery, lap­tops, iPads, smart phones and even food, par­tic­u­larly meat, are com­mon items tar­geted by burglars, he said.

“The first two are high value in most cases and they are dif­fi­cult to iden­tify and easy to trade.”

Waihi is no dif­fer­ent to the rest of New Zealand when it came to il­le­gal drugs and it was a na­tional is­sue with cannabis, syn­thetic cannabis and metham­phetamine the most preva­lent drugs.

It was also no se­cret that gangs are hugely re­spon­si­ble for drug deal­ing and the harm drugs cause, he said.

“Po­lice will con­tinue to tar­get gangs and their as­sets at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity. Po­lice will also help any­one with a drug ad­dic­tion and re­fer them to the ap­pro­pri­ate health care and so­cial ser­vices agen­cies we part­ner with daily.”

“This also ap­plies to gang mem­bers and their fam­ily mem­bers who want to break the cy­cle of de­struc­tion that drugs cause. We want to be the am­bu­lance at the top of the cliff, not the bot­tom.”

“Crime is a com­mu­nity is­sue and po­lice can­not tackle it alone. We need sup­port from the com­mu­nity and peo­ple to be proac­tive to pre­vent vic­tim­i­sa­tion.”

Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Bay of Plenty pro­vi­sional pres­i­dent Dar­ryl Jensen says it was a def­i­nitely a con­cern and wanted farm­ers to beef up their se­cu­rity.

It also en­cour­aged mem­bers of the ru­ral com­mu­nity to form Neigh­bour­hood Watch groups and watch out for any sus­pi­cious ve­hi­cles and re­port in­ci­dences to the po­lice.

“Po­lice often need to put a jig­saw puz­zle to­gether, and you may think some­thing is triv­ial and not sub­stan­tial in­for­ma­tion but it could help piece things to­gether for an ap­pre­hen­sion.”

Waihi Beach Com­mu­nity Pa­trols and Waikato Po­lice District Com­mu­nity Pa­trols chair­man Al­lan Sole says the rate of bur­glar­ies is con­cern­ing.

He says the pa­trols had a pre­ven­ta­tive role.

“We need to be seen so we can dis­cour­age peo­ple from com­mit­ting crimes. We are the eyes and ears for the po­lice.”

Al­lan had lived in Waihi for 20 years and been in­volved with the pa­trols for seven years.

“It’s very dis­ap­point­ing for the com­mu­nity that th­ese crimes are still hap­pen­ing and it’s dis­ap­point­ing peo­ple don’t take more care of their goods and toys.”

Often the pa­trols might go out and see noth­ing when you have policing tasks given to you, he said.

“Now the sit­u­a­tion is, you have no idea — it can’t be mea­sured how much crime you have pre­vented. A per­son may have gone out with the in­ten­tion of do­ing some­thing but they could have been con­cerned

be­cause their ve­hi­cle was spot­ted or they were seen.

“It then may lead to a sit­u­a­tion when the pa­trol doesn’t know about it but the per­son did not go through with an op­por­tune crime or a planned one.”

“So what you have done is pre­vented some­one from be­ing a vic­tim, and that is the big­gest thing of all be­cause vic­tims re­ally suf­fer.”

PHOTO/FILE

Waihi Po­lice are urg­ing the pub­lic to be on the look­out for burglars.

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