Mt Roskill Residents Taking Action Against Crime
Local Residents Taking Action Against Crime
By Kelly Henderson – AUT Journalism Student
Residents of Three Kings are fighting back against high levels of crime and graffiti in the area.
On Tuesday evening a Neighbourhood Support Community Meeting was held and over 80 members of the community attended.
Mr Kevin Hicks, Chairperson of Neighbourhood Support Auckland, says the residents were all concerned about the high levels of crime in the area, ranging from graffiti and boy racing to intimidation and home invasions.
Hicks says the meeting was very successful with almost everyone in attendance signing up to form neighbourhood support groups.
These groups work together with the local police and council to put a stop to crime in their community.
Neighbourhood support groups are formed firstly by neighbours committing to getting to know each other. As a result they can then watch out for each other's welfare and are able to notice anything unusual on a neighbour's property.
“People in neighbourhood support groups can support each other, which reduces the anxiety caused by crime,” says Kevin Hicks.
There is no set formula with neighbourhood support groups and they can look however the community wants them to look.
They range from small groups consisting of a few houses to larger groups where there is a division of labour into areas such as graffiti control, child safety, and road safety.
Mt Roskill Community Constable Graeme Bruges, who will be working with the groups in this area, says neighbourhood support groups like these are essential to fighting crime.
“They are the eyes and ears in an area for the police, and they set the tone for what's acceptable and what's not in their community,” says Constable Bruges.
Groups report anything suspicious that they observe to the police who will then follow it up.
Constable Bruges says the police are primarily there to support the groups, devising a response to the problems which they identify.
“It's their enthusiasm which changes the energy of a place from one that is a good environment for crime to one that isn't because criminals know they are being watched.”