I recently spoke in person to the owner of a liquor store in Three Kings.
His store was violently robbed three times in as many weeks.
On the third occasion, one of his workers was beaten with a large piece of wood, receiving serious injuries.
It is this kind of human experience that brings home just how much damage crime can create in our communities.
I have a fundamental belief that people should feel safe in their homes, on our local streets, and at work.
Unfortunately, however, crime is on the rise.
In the Auckland City Police District (which includes Mt Roskill), there has been 27% increase in assaults in public places, 54% increase in assaults on Police, and 28% increase in disorder offences.
Across the country, burglary rates continue to climb.
A lack of police resources to deal with crime is evident from the fact that of 1689 burglaries in the Auckland City West area, only 66% resulted in court action. 96% of burglars got away with it!
Our Police work hard, but reductions in real government funding have resulted in police numbers declining at a time when Auckland’s population is soaring.
In our area, there were 110 fewer foot patrols over the past year.
We need more frontline Police on the beat to deter crime and to take action when offending occurs.
People in Mt Roskill to whom I speak, want to see a friendly police presence on the street, keeping an eye on things, building community relationships, and stopping offences from occurring in the first place.
We also know that a stronger, fairer society with good jobs, and a strong education system that gives hope and opportunity to young people, will reduce crime.
On the Puketapapa Local Board, I have helped deliver security patrols to local trouble spots, supported Neighbourhood Support and the Community Patrol, and increased lighting in several of our parks so that people feel safer.
A Labour government will invest in 1000 new frontline officers to make our streets and shopping areas safer.
In Mt Roskill, I am campaigning for our local police station to be reopened to the public, so that people can have easy access to support from Police.
Crime is a hot issue in Mt Roskill. The government has ignored the issue for long.
I am committed to action so that people in our community feel safe.
Please contact me on 022-6596360; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. or on Facebook.
Michael Wood is Labour Party candidate in the Mt Roskill by-election on December 3.