Burglary Free aims to:
- raise awareness within the school and its community of burglary and its consequences
- enable schools and their communities to use preventive strategies to keep people and their property safe
- provide information on what to do when a home has been burgled.
Burglary – a definition
The crime of burglary is set out in the Crimes Act 1961 (section 231). This section states that:
Everyone is guilty of burglary who:
- enters any building or ship, or part of a building or ship, without authority and with intent to commit an imprisonable offence in the building or ship; or
- having entered any building or ship, remains in it without authority and with intent to commit an imprisonable offence in the building or ship.
While this programme focuses principally upon reducing burglary, there are a number of other closely related crimes. These crimes include receiving stolen property, theft, and unlawful entry on to property.
Burglary, like many other community problems, cannot be solved by individuals or organisations working alone. A partnership approach is likely to be most effective in reducing the incidence and effects of burglary in communities. This approach would involve people sharing their information, resources, skills, ideas and time. For this initiative, three key partners have been identified.
The school is often a focal point for the community. This is a place where people can gather to discuss issues, get information, make decisions and be supported as they take action. It is logical, therefore, that the school should take a leading role in focusing community attention on reducing burglary.
New Zealand Police can provide schools with ideas and materials, and can provide staff, particularly School Community Officers and community constables, to assist.
Safer Community Councils can support schools and their communities and provide advice and information. Through their Co-ordinator, the Safer Community Council can provide opportunities for local government and other key agencies to participate in community initiatives. From time to time other partners, such as Victim Support, local Neighbourhood Support, Community Patrols New Zealand or the New Zealand Fire Service, may also become involved.
The role of Police
The school’s local School Community Officer will be a key person in the implementation of Burglary Free. Your School Community Officer can be contacted through your local police station. Their role could include:
- providing background information about burglary within the community (from the Police
- assisting schools to choose and plan strategies to meet their needs
- taking part in classroom lessons
- having a role at community meetings
- assisting the school to make contact with other police staff and community people.
Other Police staff
Police staff other than School Community Officers – community constables, neighbourhood policing teams, and local detectives – may also become involved in Burglary Free. They may:
- assist the school to get started
- provide information on local burglaries
- attend the parent/community meeting
- provide links with other key community groups, such as Neighbourhood Support, Victim Support, Community Patrols New Zealand, or the Safer Community Councils.
- write relevant items for local newspapers or school newsletters
- take part in some lessons that require a police officer to be present.