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Auckland Region Crime Problem Needs Action Plan

Published: Mon 25 Nov 2002 11:26 AM
Auckland Region Crime Problem Needs Action Plan
Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis welcomes the Police Commissioner’s report on policing in the Auckland region, but says it must be followed by an action plan.
The report to the Minister of Police George Hawkins was released at the Auckland Mayoral Forum on Friday.
Sir Barry says the mayors are unanimous in their response.
“The report gives a clear picture of the extent of the problem being faced and the resourcing issues the Police have to deal with. But now we need a practical plan to deal with the growing threat to the community from crime, violence and antisocial behaviour.
“People are expecting the government, councils and community groups to work together to find solutions. The CEOs Forum need to work with the Police to identify steps to make progress and satisfy public concerns.
“I believe that a police liaison officer needs to be assigned to each council to establish a close working partnership. And the Police need to report monthly to councils so that local government can monitor how the new strategy is working.
“With violent crime an everyday occurrence, a new approach is long overdue. The wider community must take ownership of the problem because the police can’t combat it alone.
“We will never have a police officer on every corner but we do have a tremendous, if under-used, asset in our neighbourhood support networks. I believe they should be strengthened. But, unlike previously, the volunteers should be properly resourced and funded.
“For its part Manukau City Council will be taking on 3 additional staff to work on the Safer Manukau strategy. “
Crime and safety were identified as the major concern in a recent residents’ survey.
Sir Barry says, “I also believe that action is needed to tackle the level of gambling in Auckland. It is having a profound impact, particularly in low income households.
“Alcohol abuse is another big problem. Manukau City Council has taken steps by adopting an alcohol strategy to allow us to control drinking in public places. But the damaging effects of drunkenness are widespread and this must be a major target of the overall action plan on crime.”

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