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Waitakere police turn up in force

Waitakere police turn up in force

Shopping mall scene of police briefing

The profile of the constabulary took a highly public turn when the Area Commander of Waitakere Police addressed his troops at a shopping mall instead of at the police station.

Over 30 police officers congregated in the entrance to LynnMall to hear Inspector Mark O’Connor’s instructions for the late shift on Wednesday I August.

Before a crowd of interested shoppers Inspector O’Connor told the officers that the public police briefing is “probably a first in New Zealand to hold a briefing in public rather than at the station. The commissioner of police and police minister were most impressed when they saw it done in Europe,” said Inspector O’Connor.

New Lynn is the subject of a five-week focus, responding to an upsurge in crime, he said.

“We’re keeping a close eye on the New Lynn bus terminal where there are car and traffic problems and also at the Titirangi Road lights where a lot of people are running red lights. Street robberies are on the increase and the CIB have moved in to check on offenders.

“Damage to schools with tagging after hours is also a concern so we’re doing foot patrols looking for youth related damage,” he said.

Current burglaries have been concentrated in two main areas at New Lynn: At Fruitvale Road and in the New Lynn Central Business District.

In the time that the New Lynn operation has been running, there have been encouraging results. Two of the offenders who savagely beat the caretaker of Kelston School have been caught. “Keep up the good work,” said Inspector O’Connor.

Chairman of the Crime Prevention Reference Group Councillor Penny Hulse says she is heartened by the Waitakere Police’s public briefing and the New Lynn operation.

“This is an excellent example of the police-community interface that the council had in mind when it signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the police. It’s also good to know that the police are putting more people where they are needed,” she says.

Safe Waitakere Team Leader Mark Maxlow says while that the “fear of crime is often greater than the level of crime itself”, it’s important that the community is reassured by knowing that their police are on the ball.

“The public briefing is a great way of reassuring the community of Waitakere that the police are able to respond across the city and engage with the community,” he says.


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