Kaitaia council and police join forces to reduce burglaries

Kaitaia has reduced crime and put local people into work. Photo / i Stock
Kaitaia has reduced crime and put local people into work. Photo / i Stock

Kaitaia has experienced a dramatic reduction in burglaries after the council and police joined forces to combat the problem.

Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan, officer in charge of Kaitaia police station, said there had been a 60 per cent reduction in commercial burglaries; 40 fewer businesses had been broken into in the first six months since the initiative started in August 2015.

The initiative has led to the Te Hiku o Te Ika Neighbourhood Police Team scooping a Problem-Orientated Police (POP) award for basing a trust and community-owned security organisation in the Kaitaia station.

In addition, and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, the innovative approach has created nine local jobs for people who were considered long-term unemployed.

The willingness for the police and the Far North Safer Community Council to work together resulted in the council developing the social enterprise organisation Total Security Management.

It monitors the CCTV camera system and deploys patrols to any identified risk areas.
The success story of crime reduction and putting local people into work has been a fantastic journey, says Mr Ryan.

"Those people have upskilled, they're contributing and developing a sense of pride in keeping their community safe," he says.

Deputy chief executive strategy for NZ Police, Mark Evans, said the POP awards - held last week - were a great opportunity to celebrate the work of its staff and all involved should be very proud of the work they had done to reduce harm and victimisation in their communities.

The results may help police turn the tide on its abysmal burglary resolution rate which for 2015 sat at a record low 9.3 per cent, a Herald investigation discovered in March.

Burglars got away with an average of 164 burglaries a day in New Zealand last year, the exclusive data showed.

- NZ Herald

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