The key to a safe neighbourhood is a strong sense of community. That's what Ohinemutu resident Alex Wilson said about why his neighbourhood is one of the least burgled suburbs in Rotorua.
There has been a drop in burglaries in the city this year from 861 to 820 but while the overall trend is on the decline, two suburbs have experienced an increase in break-ins. There were 90 burglaries in Western Heights in 2012 but 127 in 2013 up to December 22. Mangakakahi also increased, from 48 to 70. There were drops in Owhata from 81 to 58 and Glenholme, from 54 to 39.
The least burgled suburbs were Ohinemutu, 2, Tihiotonga 3, Ngapuna, 4 and Lynmore, 5.
"All the families here are old families and have been here for a hundred odd years," said Alex Wilson, who has lived in Ohinemutu for all his 80 years.
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"Everyone looks after everyone. If they see something strange going on they intervene. My house is never locked. I've been around the world but home is home and that's how it is for everyone here. [Thieves] know if they take anything we will sort it out."
Each week Neighbourhood Support Rotorua supplies the Rotorua Daily Post with figures on reported burglaries in the district. From January 1 to December 21 this year there were 820 residential burglaries, which is a 5 per cent reduction on last year. In 2011 there were 1180 burglaries and of these 154 were in Owhata - in 2013 there were 58 in the eastern suburb.
Rotorua police Inspector Ed Van Den Broek said the drop in burglaries across the city was "pleasing to see".
"Less crimes means less victims, which is good for the community," he said.
"It's not just the police, the community is also standing up and calling police when they see something suspicious. Our community partners are doing good work, for example CYFS are working hard to keep young people engaged in school or away from trouble. Other groups are working with young people in their communities to get them involved and schools are also doing great work. "We'll be aiming for another drop next year. People are sick of seeing offenders, walking around getting away with stuff when they're working hard and being honest."