Hawkins Speech to Launch “Burglary Free”
Hon George Hawkins
Minister of Police
3 December 2001 – EMBARGOED UNTIL 2 PM
Speech to Launch “Burglary
Tairangi School – Porirua East
E nga manu
E nga reo
Rau rangatira ma
Tena koutou, tena koutou
Tena tatou koutou
- Good afternoon everyone – I am very pleased to be here with you all today and especially pleased to be with the children of Tairangi School. You have given us such a great welcome.
- It gives me great pleasure to to join with you in the launch of this wonderful new resource that I am sure is going to play an important role in helping to prevent burglaries in our communities.
- I do not want to speak for long – but I do want to thank some of the very important people who have made this happen. Firstly, there are the Policing Development Group, the Public Affairs Group and Police Youth Education Service who came up with the idea and carried it through to completion.
- I also want to acknowledge the teachers and police education officers who helped write Burglary-Free and to produce this attractive finished product. Some of them are here today, including Emma Buckingham - I know she is one of your teachers.
- And I must not forget the important contribution of the Crime Prevention Unit who have had such a big part to play in ensuring that this wonderful programme is available for all the schools and communities in New Zealand.
- I would also like to thank Tairangi School for hosting our launch today.
- But most of all, I want to thank the police education officers, community groups, teachers and parents who are now going to going to work with this programme to help make our communities safer. I am certain you will also have a lot of fun along the way as well.
- You know burglary is something that many people are afraid of, with very good reason. A National Survey of Crime Victims in 1996 indicated that of the people concerned about crime in their community, 76% put their fear of burglary as their most serious fear. It is a horrible feeling to know that not only have your favourite things been pinched, but also to know that someone has been into the place where you normally feel safest, and rummaged around and even messed the place up too.
- The Government has acknowledged this fear in the community and has placed emphasis on addressing these concerns. Last year, the Police reduced the number of burglaries by nearly 10,500 from the previous year. That’s a huge number and it means a lot fewer people suffering the distress and anxiety we’ve just talked about. The Police also caught nearly twice as many burglars last year but we want to reduce those burglaries even further.
- We want everyone to feel safer and this programme is designed to help us do that .It is part of a range of initiatives which are all designed to help us work together to change our communities for the better.
- It is
not about spying or checking on others. It is about
mobilising communities, communities just like yours saying
enough is enough, we’re not going tolerate this any more and
we’re doing something about it for ourselves.
Burglary-Free is unique for a number of reasons and it is designed to raise awareness without raising fear. It has been very carefully crafted to ensure that it reaches the right people at the right level.
- At the very early level, the programme looks at ways of touching the centre of the universe for a five-year-old. It looks at ways they can help others and help themselves. Very simple ideas but very important. I know we will be seeing some of that work very soon.
- At the next level the concerns are widened a little to consider the ways families can make their homes safer.
- Older children will look out further, and will be interacting in the community in a more independent way. I am looking forward to hearing about this too from some of the older Tairangi pupils.
- But it is very important to recognise that this programme is applicable to any community, regardless of the level of burglary in that community and can be part of the normal school programme.
- Burglary, like so many other problems is easier to tackle if the problem is shared. I am sure that Burglary-Free is going to play a big role in helping to reduce buglaries and to make our neighbourhoods safer because it is based on a positive relationship between schools, local communities and Police and through them, will have an effect on the entire community.
- I am very happy to launch this programme today and I have every confidence in its success, especially when I see such keen young faces as those around me this afternoon. I am looking forward to seeing some of the work that the school has done on the programme.
- So as I said I don’t want to speak for long, I had better make sure I keep to my word and let you all get on with it.
Tena tatou katoa