Safety depends on proactive people

New Zealand Police follows the ‘Prevention First’ strategy and have taken a series of steps to reduce crime in the society.

Public support and cooperation is vital to make this strategy work.

It is also important that various non-governmental organisations, associations, formal and informal groups and individuals offer their expertise and support in making this strategy successful.

We have often heard people saying that making our homes, work places and all areas of public gatherings, shopping malls, car parks and other places free of crime and offences, is important to ensure greater safety and security.

It is important for us as a community to keep safe.

Just as safety begins at home, it also begins in individuals, in their thoughts, actions and the ability and willingness to adopt and support safety measures.

Simple safety tips

We have to be wise and sensible in the little things that will cause a lot of grief.

Let us be proactive rather than reactive.

If you are likely to be away from your home on holiday this summer as many of us in the community would do, you should take a few basic precautions.

You should (a) stop delivery of your newspapers and magazines during your absence (b) have time switches for lights at home (c) activate your security alarm (d) inform the company dealing with your safety alarm that you would be away (e) inform your neighbours, neighbourhood support or such other groups and (f) request your neighbour, relative or a friend to visit your property if possible from to time

You could also request your neighbour, relative or friend to (a) remove letters, circulars and other material from your letter box regularly (b) park their car in the driveway close to your home (c) attend to the garden, especially mowing the lawn, since grass grows faster in summer

Neighbours helping each other will promote safety for all.

If you have a pet at home, such as cat or dog, please ensure that it is looked after during your absence. There are dedicated organisations that provide such a service for a fee, which would depend on a number of factors.

Police & Crimestoppers

If you are at home when your neighbours are away, please inform the Police (on 111) if you notice anyone or anything suspicious.

If you do not want to contact them, you could provide the information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555111 or on their website (www.crimestoppers-nz.org).

It is also the time of the year when we face added pressures if we are staying home. Children have high expectations and it may be hard find extra money to keep them satisfied and engaged.

Try to create activities and do things that do not put stress on your finances.

Go to the park and play with your children, take them to the local library, some of which may have special activities for the younger members of the society.

This is also a good time to teach children home activities such as cooking, gardening, cleaning and gardening.

If you think back on your childhood, you may remember the time that you spent with your parents and the activities in which you were engaged as a family.

I hope that everyone has a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.

Ranjna Patel is a Member of the South Asian Advisory Board of the Counties Manukau Police. She wrote the above article in consultation with other members of the Board, including Ibrar Sheikh, Pastor Moses Singh, Shabbir Wasiullah, Manjula Walgampola, Liaqat Waraich, Nimi Bedi and the Editor of this newspaper.

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