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New campaign to prevent crime among Maori in Bay of Plenty

New campaign to prevent crime among Maori in Bay of Plenty

Preventing crime and reducing the risk of harm among Maori in the Bay of Plenty is at the heart of a campaign being launched by Crimestoppers today.

The campaign has been initiated and driven by Eastern Bay of Plenty Iwi amid growing concerns for their communities and the desire to reduce the numbers of Maori victims. It is also supported by Police who have played an active role in its development.

Although there are a variety of reporting mechanisms and support agencies available to help those in need, there is often a lack of awareness about these mechanisms.

Crimestoppers is one of the first links in the chain providing a means to initiate a call for action which is free and provides total anonymity.

There has been significant community input into the campaign with focus groups held at four locations across the Bay of Plenty, and organised through Iwi providers in those areas.

Founder and Chairman of Crimestoppers New Zealand, John Perham, said: “Those forums reinforced a lack of awareness about the facility that Crimestoppers offers and a perception of the facility as a ‘nark’ hotline, rather than a tool to assist in the prevention of crime. Those forums also provided us with some incredibly honest and frank feedback and ideas which have proved invaluable for the campaign.

“It was clear from the focus groups that Maori are not blind to the issues their communities face. They really want to help make a difference and appreciate being asked to be part of the solution. Those who took part in the focus groups were really clear about what words, language and imagery would have the most impact on their communities and we are extremely grateful for their input.”

The campaign will initially focus on road risk, especially among young men. Going forward it will look at other areas which cause considerable harm such as family violence and alcohol misuse; all with the aim of encouraging behaviour change.

“The initial advertisement to launch the campaign has been designed by Crimestoppers utilising feedback from the focus groups. Through Police Iwi Liaison Officers we will continue to work with Maori communities encouraging them to become actively involved in the campaign, creating their own imagery for future advertising material,” said Mr Perham.


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