Media report on burglary clarified

The Counties Manukau Police Southeast Asian Advisory Board has discounted a mainstream media report on burglaries in South Auckland.

The report had quoted Southeast Asian liaison officer Constable Gurpreet Arora as saying that “Asian families should take down national flags from their homes and keep religious festivals low-key.”

The Advisory Board said in a statement that Mr Arora had only intended to identify safety steps that people should take to keep their homes safe and less vulnerable to burglaries (Indian Newslink, June 15, 2010).

“He did not try to advice people what they can and cannot do,” the statement said.

“Amongst the causes identified as contributing to this spate of burglaries in the Howick and Pakuranga areas was the common perception that South Asians, including Indians keep cash and jewellery at home and were lax in securing their homes against burglary.

“The Board believed that the presence of religious flags in some Indo-Fijian homes would be seen as ‘an announcement to burglars’ that they may have money and jewellery. The community may be asked to look at the option of not having such flags at homes,” the statement said.

“Storing cash, jewellery and valuables in bank vaults, securing homes with security alarms and improved safety measures would eventually keep burglars away from these homes.”

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