Heathdene residents seek better security

By Zaryd Wilson

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TARGETED: A spate of break-ins at Heathdene Flats in Whanganui has prompted extra security measures. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY
TARGETED: A spate of break-ins at Heathdene Flats in Whanganui has prompted extra security measures. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY

Extra lighting, signage and fencing will be installed at a Whanganui flats complex after a recent spate of break-ins and stolen vehicles.

Last week Whanganui District Council staff met with residents of Heathdene flats in Kaikokopu Rd, Aramoho, to discuss recent robberies and what extra security measures could be put in place.

Council senior property officer Bill Carswell said over the hot summer months some residents had been sleeping with their doors open.

People had walked into those flats and taken belongings and vehicle keys. Two vehicles were later stolen as a result.

After meeting with Heathdene's residents council, which owns the facility, agreed to a range of security measures.

"We've upgraded the lighting at the complex and we are investigating the installation of solar lighting in three locations which aren't well lit," Mr Carswell said.

"Our electrician is trialling equipment to ensure it is fit for purpose. Appropriate signage is currently being installed at entrances to the complex reminding people it is private property.

"We are also erecting a permanent fence to prevent pedestrian access to the lawn."

The idea of blocking vehicle and pedestrian access from Balance St with a gate was suggested but not supported by the majority of residents, Mr Carswell said.

Meanwhile, residents were advised to lock their homes at night.

Heathdene's Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator Lenny Ellwood said residents were generally happy with the measures council had offered.

"Nobody's going to want to walk in where there's lighting."

Mr Ellwood said there was a good community spirit at Heathdene and residents looked out for each other.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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