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BAYS NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH - East Coast Bays, North Shore

For the safety and protection of people and property in our area.

Police update

Prevention of crime, protection of people and property, and maintaining standards of safety in a community is the responsibility of everyone.  It should not be left just to Police or other agencies.  Here's a way for you to play your part.  Remember, the closest support in any situation is that of your neighbours.  Get to know them.


BAYS COMMUNITY CONSTABLE at the time talks about -


Neighbourhood Watch and the holidays.


CHRISTMAS is almost here again and its about this time people start counting down for the holidays.  Its also when they start thinking about their Neighbourhood Watch groups and whether they should look at revitalising them.

Its your group and its up to you to keep it going.  Ring around your neighbours, find out who has moved in and who is no longer living in your street.  Have a street barbecue and meet these people.  If you want their help in times of need you have to let them know you will be there for them.

If you are going away, arrange for the paper and mail to be collected. Inform your neighbours of when you are going and when you will be coming back.  Leave contact addresses and phone numbers of friends and relatives.  If something happens to your home, such as a broken window or water pipe, you wont walk into a flooded home two weeks later.

I always leave lights attached to timer switches that will turn themselves on and off in different rooms around the house.  And one that amazes me - if you have a burglar alarm, turn the thing on!  Remember, alarms need servicing and testing.

Sexual offenders and keeping safe.

Warmer weather and sunny days encourage us to get out more. Unfortunately, summer is when we have an increase of perverts exposing themselves to children and lone females.  Common places this can happen are along cliff top walkways and bushy parks.

There have been reports of male offenders trying to get young children into cars further north. The Torbay area has also had a white male in his early 40s approaching school children and speaking to them from his car.  His car is believed to be a modern white sports car with a spoiler on the rear, possibly a Honda Prelude.  The driver has had a sleeper ear ring in his left ear and a mole on the left side of his cheek.  He has worn a dark beanie or balaclava rolled up with an off white T-shirt with "No Smoking" on the front of it.

Police have had extra patrols in the area since the reports but have been unable to locate this person.  If you have any information about who this person might be, please phone the Browns Bay Police.

This would be a good time to talk to your children about keeping themselves safe in a variety of situations.

School traffic safety.

Why is it that some caregivers think they can park anywhere they want to around a school at 3pm?  Are they just too lazy to walk a few hundred metres to pick up their kids or are they too selfish?

The yellow "no stopping" lines mean no stopping, and have been placed around schools for safety reasons, so do not expect to talk your way out of a ticket.  Its just as likely to arrive in the post.

Well, nothing more to say for this year, so have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and ticket-free New Year.

For information on Neighbourhood Watch see  http://bayswatch.TimLeitch.net.nz


Safety in the home.

THE HOME is a place where people expect to feel safe and secure and, statistically, the likelihood of a physical encounter with an intruder is very low.  The chances of such a situation occurring can be reduced by installing protection in the form of appropriate security devices.

This will increase the level of protection in the home.  Potential risks to personal safety can also be minimised by observing sensible security practices.

General security precautions.

It is unwise to leave door keys under a flower pot, mat, in the letterbox or similar hiding places.  These are very easily found by inquisitive burglars.  Be wary of leaving keys with tradespeople, as keys can be copied.

Items left lying around such as ladders, tools, gardening implements, lawn mowers and bikes can attract a criminal onto the property, and some items may be used to gain entry to your home.

Open garage doors and open windows can also be attractive to criminals.  Windows should have security fittings, particularly if left open during the day when you are out.

If you are at home and leave any exterior doors unlocked, consider that a prowler could take the opportunity to gain easy access.

When arriving home at night it can be a good idea to carry your house keys in your hand for quick entry if needed.

It is important not to overlook fire hazards when considering home security practices.  The installation of smoke alarms and the availability of fire extinguishers are ways in which you can reduce the risk of serious fire occurring in your home.

External security.

Be aware that large shrubs, plants or very high fencing can provide a place for a prowler to hide.  Thorny plants along the fence line can discourage prowlers from climbing over, and having fully enclosed fencing with a gate creates a barrier.  Prowlers are less likely to target such property with restricted access and restricted escape routes.

Ensure your house number can be seen clearly from the road at all times.  Visibility of a house number at night is important for police and other emergency services responding to a call.

Some people wish to display their names on letterboxes.  This can help a prowler or burglar gain information about who live, at the address.

Fitting exterior sensor lights can deter prowlers and, if returning home late at night, can provide good visibility of the surrounding area for the home owner.

Here are some basic measures to increase home security:

The fitting of deadlocks to outer doors and internal access garage doors.

The fitting of lockable bolts to ranch sliders and French doors.

The fitting of door viewers and security chains.

Other measures can involve installing a burglar alarm, having panic buttons for a burglar alarm in the bedroom, having light switches within reach of your bed and a telephone list of emergency contacts also in your bedroom.

Responding to people at the door.

Observe first. Always check through a window or a door viewer.

Only open the door partly with a security chain connected.

Refuse entry if in doubt and telephone the police or a neighbour.

Switch on outside lights when dark to see who is there.

Think suspicious.

Strangers may be thieves trying to gain entry to your home.  Only open the door fully after examining identification and satisfying yourself that the person is genuine.

If you are alone you can create the impression that someone else is present by shouting out that you will answer the door.

Different ways people may attempt to gain entry to your home include:

Asking to use your telephone.

Asking for a glass of water.

Asking for donations.

Conducting a survey.

Impersonating sales representatives, officials, tradespeople or others, or simply asking if a fictitious person lives there.

If someone comes to your door asking to use the telephone offer to make the call for them.

Prowlers on your property.

Prowlers are either potential burglars or peeping toms who will attempt to peer through any window or curtain that has not been drawn.

Lingerie left on the washing line overnight may attract this type of person onto your property.

Check all your doors and windows are secure when you go out or before going to bed at night.

A woman by herself at home can place objects on the porch or similar place suggesting the presence of another person at the address.  A pair of large boots, for example, may deter a prowler.

If a prowler is seen phone the police immediately and your neighbours.  Remember to get as good a description as possible of the person and the direction they have travelled.

If you think a prowler is about to break in switch on all your lights and make as much noise as possible.

It is best not to go outside even if you think the prowler has run away A police dog team may have been called and needs an uncontaminated track.  Going outside could also expose you to danger if the person returns.

Remember - think suspicious, be suspicious.  You should not compromise your safety by opening the door to strangers and allowing them inside unless you have established it is safe to do so.

For information on Neighbourhood Watch see  http://bayswatch.TimLeitch.net.nz


What is suspicious behaviour?

When do I call the Police?

     I didnt call because I wasnt really sure what was happening.

            I thought the Police would be too busy.

These are some of the common questions or thoughts that confront a person when they are considering what is suspicious behaviour.

Defining suspicious behaviour is not easy.  It depends on circumstances, what has been seen, what other events have occurred in the area in recent times or even peoples impressions.

One easy way of answering this question is to ask does it seem right?  People make good judgements on what seems right, and what is normal behaviour in their neighbourhood.

If events or circumstances dont appear right do something about it.  Take some action by calling your neighbours or the Police.

Here are some guidelines on the minimum action the Police consider appropriate, given the wide range of situations that may be encountered.

Before you intervene, assistance should be requested from neighbours or other members of the public or the Police.

Three clear levels of intervention have been identified.  These levels of intervention range from minimal action to direct physical intervention in some cases.

Levels of intervention.

These levels of intervention can be summarised as follow-

Minimum action This is the basic level of involvement.  When you suspect or observe some criminal activity occurring you should call the Police, look and listen and, where appropriate, record details using pen and paper, dictaphone, a camera or video camera.

You may be required to take some further action short of direct physical intervention that stop the crime in progress or causes the offender to leave the area.

This may include phoning neighbours or alerting bystanders to the offender or the situation, switching on household lights, making noises to frighten off the offender, yelling and screaming at the offender to leave, or telling them to stop.

Depending on circumstances, you may intervene to protect a person who is being threatened or attacked. Physical force may have to be used to protect a victim.

Remember these guidelines are victim-focused.  The Police will deal with the offenders.

You should help protect victims or potential victims by intervening when and if the situation warrants action.  Use sound judgement, avoid unnecessary risks and ensure someone has called the Police.

If you require any further information about community support or crime prevention please contact your local Neighbourhood Watch Office and remember to be a good neighbour.

For information on Neighbourhood Watch see  http://bayswatch.TimLeitch.net.nz


Graffiti, drug abuse and staffing levels.

Graffiti limitation.

Thats not to say we dont still have a problem with graffiti.  There are always new people doing it and others come into our area from South and West Auckland, leaving their tags behind.  However weve certainly seen a huge improvement over time.

Cannabis use is a concern.

I have been concerned at the amount of cannabis use by children in the East Coast Bays.  This has appeared to increase in the last couple of years and most of the high schools on the North Shore have noted this.

Some of you may he aware that Long Bay College was featured in the media when five students were strip searched after allegedly smoking cannabis.

Long Bay College has, in fact, one of the lowest records of cannabis abuse of the East Coast Bays schools.  I have been very pleased with the progress they have made in drug education and attempting to resolve the problems which all schools face.

We are aware, of course, that cannabis can he bought very easily around the Browns Bay shopping area at different times.

Trying to apprehend the people responsible has, at times, proved difficult.

Browns Bay police, along with other police districts, have found staffing shortages to be a problem and some people have noticed that the station has been closed on the odd occasion during the day because of lack of stall.

Police are hoping to address these problems in the near future with more recruits being brought to the North Shore which will, in turn, feed more police staff to outer stations such as Browns Bay.

More community constables.

I am still pushing for a community constable to he stationed at Torbay and one at Mairangi Bay, and Im sure when staffing levels rise again this will be high on the police list.

Unfortunately my work load has prevented me from walking the beat and to date this year Ive been out on the street three or four times.  Im always trying to rectify this and hopefully with more staff to the Browns Bay area my work load should decrease.

For information on Neighbourhood Watch see  http://bayswatch.TimLeitch.net.nz


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 Last modified: 24 Apr 2012

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