Preventing crime about 'little things'

By Corey Charlton

The victim of a brazen daylight burglary in Hastings last year believes crime prevention starts with the "little things".

Welch McFaull manager Ferlin Fairgrieve was busy in his Albert St workshop in September last year when someone entered the premises and made off with a cash box containing money and items precious to his ill father.

The burglary, thought to have occurred about 2pm that day, was not solved.

Police statistics show burglary rates reduced significantly in Hawke's Bay over the past year.

Burglary and breaking and entering fell to 2181 offences in the last calendar year from the previous year's 2695.

Mr Fairgrieve said he was glad to see a reduction and he hoped the trend continued.

"To tackle crime, in my opinion, it starts with [preventing] the little things," he said. "If they can get away with it, they carry on to do more serious crime."

The cash box stolen from the business he managed contained about $800 in cash, some commemorative millennium notes, and photos of his grandfather which his father, sick with chronic liver disease, holds dear.

At the time, a public appeal was made for anyone with information about the crime to come forward but the culprits were never found.

He believed police were doing the best job possible.

"I think they're doing the best they can with the resources they have got. It would be nice for them to have more staff and more resources to focus more on some of these smaller crimes.

"Those little crimes, they develop into bigger ones if they get away with it."

He was unsure what to attribute the drop in crime to, but thought it was slightly surprising, given the economic conditions.

"When people are struggling a little bit, I think they turn to crime a little bit more. I guess it always has an impact."

At the time of the burglary, Mr Fairgrieve said it left him with a "foul taste" in his mouth.

While he had lost a sizeable sum, it was the theft of precious photos of his grandfather, that were of "no good use to anyone else", that hurt.

"I'd never met him. He died when my dad was quite young. It's just really hard at the moment because dad's pretty much on borrowed time. Those things mean more when you think you're going to lose someone."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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