Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:02am |
Counties Manukau

Counties Manukau recorded crime steady

3 min read

Counties Manukau Police District Commander Superintendent Steve Shortland says the results over the 2007 calendar year are encouraging and a credit to the hard working men and women of the District.

"We've made a conscious effort over the last few years to be innovative and forward thinking in our approach to tackling the challenges of policing a District of this size and demography - the resulting reduction in crime makes these efforts satisfying."

Overall crime was down 3% and resolutions up from 38.7 to 41.8%.

Recorded violence saw the largest increase but for the most part the rise is attributable to more reports of family violence as a result of the education campaigns encouraging victims to report incidents of violence in the home and a zero tolerance approach from officers. Family violence offences increased from 42.3% to 52.9% of all recorded violence offences.

Mr Shortland says there were three murders in the District over the calendar year and there has also been a noticeable reduction in serious incidents of street violence.

"We are finding the level of violence is lowering, we are arresting people on more minor charges because we are able to intervene a lot sooner using additional staff in our Youth Action teams to patrol the streets during identified high risk times.

Reducing youth crime continues to be a focus in the District with this issue requiring a multi-pronged approach and this in part has been achieved through the introduction of our three Youth Action teams (YAT).

"These teams have evolved over the last year or so and are now becoming more equipped to dampen hot spots before they erupt on the streets. Each team now has a caged van which can be readily deployed and able to deal with large numbers at a disorder incident."

Mr Shortland says the strategy put in place to making the streets of Counties Manukau safer focuses on intervening earlier in the evening to stop irresponsible people buying liquor, consuming it, gathering in large numbers and causing trouble.

"The YAT teams do their bit in providing a presence around hotspots and projects like Mellow Yellow also support this early intervention approach around drinking establishments, ensuring patrons behave and don't cause trouble outside bars and spills out onto the streets."

Project Mellow Yellow began in October last year and is a joint initiative between the Manukau City Council and Police liquor licensing units. Police officers and bar security staff, wear bright yellow jackets in and around the District's bars during peak times, this sign of authority becomes a deterrent to any possible trouble. Drunken patrons are also identified and dealt with ensuring the person doesn't go from one bar to another causing trouble.

The Mobile police station is also a great asset to the District and can be deployed to increase visibility in the community as well as support early intervention. With a problem solving approach and community reassurance mandate, the bus is multi-functional and can be used in all manner of ways including deterring disorder, focussing on a crime hotspot or providing Police presence at a large public event.

Bag snatching is of concern to the District and the Mobile police station is being used to run Operation Snap aimed at reducing bag snatching particularly around the District's shopping malls and carparks. The bus will park in the identified target areas, increasing community reassurance as well as bus staff foot patrolling the malls and educating the public about crime prevention reducing the possibility of shoppers becoming victims.

Mr Shortland says overall the District continues to focus on reducing family violence, disorder and addressing youth issues. He says today's results are a combination of police, our partners and the community working together to make the streets and homes of Counties Manukau safer for everyone.

Released by Angeline Barlow

Communications Manager

Counties Manukau Police