Kia ora te hapori o Taupō (hello Taupō community).
Taupō police have had a busy time since I last wrote. Last Sunday afternoon in Nukuhau, police responded to a 111 call, and when we arrived a bloke decided to lock himself in a car on the property. The Taupō team did a fantastic job and with additional support from Rotorua, the man decided to talk to us. I cannot tell any more of the story but I want to thank the staff from Rotorua for their assistance, the patience of all of you who were affected by the police cordons and finally our local police teams for their mahi on that day.
This incident really just topped a busy week for us locally. Currently across the Bay of Plenty Policing District we are seeing a rise in car thefts and some of those cars are then being used in ram raids. If you were in town on Monday you would have seen our friends at Stirling Sports on te Heuheu St were victims of one. Other ram raids have occurred in Whakatane and our neighbouring policing district, Waikato.
This type of offending is hard for us to prevent as the likely offenders have travelled from out of town to steal here in Taupō. Our people who had their cars stolen had done everything right, securing their cars before turning in for the night. Our police staff on night shift were patrolling our volume crime areas attempting to prevent crime and even came across some of the abandoned, stolen vehicles. Unfortunately we were just unable to catch these offenders in the act. The Investigations Group is currently working with our colleagues in Rotorua and Whakatane to identify who is responsible and hold them accountable. If you think your mate or family member is involved you can give us an anonymous call on 0800 555 111 Crimestoppers or check us out at www.crimestoppers-nz.org. Until these people are stopped, they will continue to steal things.
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Finally this week I have received feedback from some of you that there have been times you have needed police, tried to make contact, have been unsuccessful and then gone away feeling frustrated. I do want to apologise for the way you feel. NZ police are more accessible now than when I first joined the police in 2006. Unfortunately we may have muddied the water with all these numbers, songs and adverts you see around, so hopefully the next few lines will make the water clearer.
■ If you observe or hear something happening now and your gut instinct says the police need to sort this out, call 111 immediately and ask for police – our response team will attend ASAP. Situations when you would ask for police via the 111 number are: when a crime is happening now and the offenders are still there or have just left, when someone's in danger or badly injured, or when there's a serious risk to human life or property.
■ You have arrived home and someone has ripped you off, or you need to tell the police something that has already happened, call 105 (yes, there is a song and dance that goes with this number). Someone at our Non-Emergency Call Centre in Kāpiti will answer your call and take that report. You can also report these types of things online.
■ You can pop into the local police station on Story Place. There will be times that our doors will be closed but there is a buzzer on the right hand side of our door that will connect you with the Non-Emergency Call Centre in Kāpiti. I try to have the front counter open with staff during business hours but there are times I close the doors so that our staff can attend the 111 emergency calls.
That is all for this week. Titiro atu tētahi ki tētahi (look after each other), Phil Edwards.