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Community Safety Meetings A Great Success

Media Release
21 April 2005

COMMUNITY SAFETY MEETINGS A GREAT SUCCESS

Highland Park Community House recently held two community safety meetings for the Asian community. Jeremy Field, the Highland Park Community Policeman, spoke to the groups about keeping safe in public and at home. He was assisted by Asian Police Liaison Officer Justin Zeng who helped with interpreting. Mr Zeng also thanked the Asian community for their support in solving the kidnapping of Qing Zhao.

The meetings were organized by Sandy Ryan, the Community House Co-ordinator, who says, "I had requests from the Asian community to hold meetings on community safety, and I am really pleased we did.

"One of the most important things to come out of this, was breaking down barriers about how our Asian residents view the Police and their role in our community. Our perceptions form our reality, and in the case of law enforcement and community safety this has been shown in surveys to be often negative. In the case of immigrants this can be intensified by cultural and language barriers which need to be overcome. The most important thing we can do is break down negative perceptions and help develop more positive views about law enforcement.

"These meetings went a long way to achieving this and this was reflected by the feedback we received which confirmed that these people now felt much more confident about dealing with the Police.

"They learnt a lot about ways of securing their homes and the importance of community networks and neighbourhood support groups which can be the best defence against crime

"I would be interested to hear from other members of our Asian community who would like to attend another community safety meeting," says Ms Ryan.

Asian residents who would like to attend a meeting can phone the community house on 534 5584 to register their interest.

More information and contact numbers for all the Community Houses can be found on Council's website www.manukau.govt.nz or phone Council's Call Centre 262 5104.

ENDS


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