Be vigilant to prevent burglaries
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.”
Waihi Police are urging the public to be on the lookout for burglars.