Personal safety

Plan ahead

  • Make a list of the phone numbers of people you can call in an emergency. Keep a phone by your bed.
  • Arrange with a neighbour to look out for you. For example, arrange for a neighbour to collect your mail when you are away on holiday.
  • Consider getting a personal alarm you can activate in an emergency.
  • Consider installing a monitored security alarm in your home.
  • Don't be tricked
  • If a stranger comes to your home and asks to use your phone, offer to make the phone call yourself. They don't need to come into your home and you don't need to open the door.
  • Don't do business with strangers who come to the door or call you by phone.
  • Don't discuss your finances with strangers or give out details of your bank or credit cards over the phone.
  • Get several quotes before you employ tradespeople or ask a friend for a recommendation.
  • If you think someone is trying to cheat you, contact the Police.

Personal safety tips

  • Don't keep large amounts of cash/jewellery at home.
  • Never admit to being home alone.
  • Install a wide-angle peephole in your door.
  • Install security chains on the inside of external doors.
  • If you receive a wrong number phone call, never give out your name and address.
  • Ask for a security checklist from your Neighbourhood Support contact.

If you are a victim of crime or a road crash

  • New Zealand Police are responsible for investigating crime and road crashes, and for keeping people safe.
  • If you see a crime or road crash happening, or if you are a victim of crime, then please telephone the Police to report it and ask for help. It is important to tell the police as soon as possible.
  • In an emergency, telephone the police by dialling 111.
  • In many situations, Police will want to visit the place where the crime happened (the crime scene).
  • In non-emergency situations, police may ask you to go to a police station to make an official report.
  • Police may want to talk to you about the crime and get information and evidence to help catch the offenders and, if appropriate, arrest them.
  • New Zealand Police are very good at catching criminals and solving crime.
  • If you saw a person committing a crime or causing a road crash, you can help Police by telling them what the person looked like.
  • Victim Support is another organisation that works very closely with Police to help and support you after a road crash or crime has been committed.
  • Victim Support can help you with any questions or concerns you may have about being a victim or witness.
  • If the person who caused the crime or road crash is arrested, he or she may have to go to Court.
  • You may also have to go to Court to give evidence and explain what that person did to you. Court Victim Advisers can help you with information about the court process.
  • In New Zealand all victims have rights, which include being treated with courtesy and compassion. The Victims’ Rights Act 2002 sets out what your rights are as a victim.

If you are a victim of burglary

  • If you come home and find you have been burgled and you think the burglar may still be in your home, do not go into your home. Contact police immediately by telephoning 111 from another phone. See how to report a crime
  • If you think the burglar has left your home, then telephone or visit the nearest police station to report the burglary.
  • When you go to the police station to report the burglary you should receive written confirmation of your report. This is called a ‘Complaint Acknowledgement Form’. The form includes a file number and the name of the police officer dealing with your complaint.
  • Do not touch or move anything in your home that the burglar may have touched or moved because the police may need these things as evidence. For example, police will want to look for any fingerprints left by the burglar.
  • If you have home and contents insurance you should tell your insurance company that you have been burgled.
  • You will need the police file number when making an insurance claim after a burglary.
  • The following links provide good information about burglary in New Zealand and how to help prevent it:

Looking after your children in New Zealand

  • New Zealand law states all children and young people have the right to be safe and cared for.
  • It is important you look after your children so they are safe and don’t become victims of crime or get involved in crime.
  • In New Zealand, young children under the age of 14 have to be supervised at all times for their safety. Never leave a child under the age of 14 at home or in a car by themselves.
  • When in a car, children under the age of seven must be fastened into a special safety seat suitable for their age, size and weight.
  • If you are going out, ask a family member or friend – someone you trust – to look after your children. If you have someone looking after your children while you are at work or away from home, that person must be 14 years old or older.
  • Make sure your children are able to contact you or a trusted person at all times. For example, make sure they know your work or mobile phone telephone numbers.
  • If you think your child is a victim of crime or is involved in crime then you should talk to the police.
  • There are special police officers called ‘Youth Aid Officers’ who deal with young people involved in crime. They can help you consider the best ways to keep your children safe.
  • New Zealand Police also have special School Community Officers who work with teachers in schools to help teach young people about keeping safe.
  • You can talk to your school about what they teach to keep children safe.
  • During school holidays, try and involve your children in sport or other activities. Many community groups have holiday programmes to keep young people busy and entertained during school holidays.
  • Young people who are busy with sport or other positive activities are less likely to become involved in crime.

Trespassing

  • Trespassing is entering someone’s private property or place of work without permission.
  • Trespassing is a crime.
  • If someone is trespassing, they can be asked to leave or they can be given a trespass notice.
  • Anyone can be given a trespass notice, including children. For example, if someone has stolen something from a shop, the shop owner can give that person a trespass notice.
  • The trespass notice is a formal request to stay away from the property.
  • If a person ignores the trespass notice and tries to come onto the property, then police can be called to come and remove the person.
  • Police can arrest someone for trespassing.
  • A person can be fined up to $1000 or sent to prison for up to three months for trespassing.
  • A trespass notice can prevent someone from going onto the property for as long as two years.