Home security plea for holidays
As the number of burglaries in Porirua and Tawa increase, the messages are simple: Don't make it easy for criminals, and look out for your neighbours.
The latest figures from Kapiti-Mana police show a surge in burglaries, particularly in Cannons Creek (15 in the last month), Tawa (11) and Titahi Bay (9).
Area commander Inspector John Price says they mostly occur between 7am and 2pm and thieves target goods such as easy-to-move electronic items like laptops, PlayStations and cameras, and garden and DIY equipment such as power tools and weedeaters.
An operation is under way to target regular offenders and hot spots, but the police need the public to help.
Screwdrivers may be the entry tool for most burglars, but often they can just walk in, Mr Price says.
"As well as watching out for your neighbours and suspicious activity, you can't make it easy for crims.
"Most of these burglaries are happening during the day, so make sure you secure your windows and doors and garages.
"Your average burglar will take seconds to assess your home - if they can get in easily, they will; if not, they'll leave."
Mr Price says calls to police to report suspicious activity are important, because they help the police intelligence unit look for patterns.
He says that though there is a perception that with teenagers on holiday burglaries will go up, that is not the case.
It is normally repeat adult offenders carrying out the crimes.
Kapi-Mana News spoke to neighbourhood support co-ordinators in Whitby, Mana, Porirua East and Tawa and they had tips for not becoming a burglary statistic this summer:
Don't have the Christmas tree with presents underneath visible from a lounge window;
Don't put cardboard out for recycling that advertises the new television you got for Christmas;
Install sensor lights and 24-hour timers;
Get a neighbour to park a car in your driveway if you are away;
Mark your electronic goods or note serial numbers.
Mr Price advises alerting neighbours if you are going away, so mail can be collected.
He says the Christchurch earthquakes taught us that we should know our neighbours.
"Porirua and Tawa has a strong ethos of community and we can make that stronger. Crime won't survive in a community that cares."