OPINION: Locals tackling local crime

Community safety has improved a lot over the years, mostly as a testament to the professionalism of our local police, but also to the efforts of people like the dedicated volunteers of the Botany Crime Watch Patrol.

This community organisation was founded 15 years ago. Its ranks are filled with locals who care about their local patch.

I joined two Crime Watch patrollers as they went out on patrol last Saturday night. They serve as the eyes and ears of our local police, who cannot be everywhere all the time.

Patrollers observe and report suspected criminal activity. I don’t know how many crimes they’ve stopped over the years but it’s bound to be a big number.

Over the years as Dannemora and Botany has grown, much of the low level crime, like burglaries, car theft, and graffiti, has been cleaned up through the efforts of these volunteer patrollers.

They do an amazing job helping to reduce crime in our local East Auckland community. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.

Botany Crime Watch Patrol is always looking for new volunteers so if helping to keep the area safe sounds like something you’d like to do, give Margaret a call on 09 274 9449.

Also doing their bit to fight crime is a group of Northpark residents who are sick of the anti-social activity that’s been happening at Tarnica Park for some time.

They want lights and a security camera installed at the park to increase visibility and make it safer.

I’m supporting these locals as they try to motivate the Howick Local Board to provide the funding for the lighting and camera.

These residents have the right to be able to enjoy their local park without having to dodge broken glass and other rubbish dropped on the ground or be afraid to venture there at night.

Something the Government could do that would help to keep us safe is investing in more frontline police officers in our local Counties Manukau East area.

Our local police do an outstanding job but they could always use more resources. The process of recruiting, training, and deploying new constables needs to be sped up.

 Jami-Lee Ross, MP for Botany