Proactive policing cuts South Auckland offences
Sun, 01 Jul 2012 6:00p.m.
By Brook Sabin
3 News has witnessed firsthand the dramatic impact a new crime strategy is having in South Auckland.
The number of recorded offences is down 6000 in the past two years, with proactive teams targeting everything from alcohol abuse to organised crime.
At 4:30pm yesterday afternoon, police turn up to help a man who can't breathe because he's having an asthma attack.
But his heavily intoxicated friend is causing a lot of problems.
The ambulance is at a safe-point down the road; it's too dangerous to enter.
As backup arrives, the situation continues to deteriorate and the ambulance won't come any closer.
So police decide to drag the unconscious man into their car and take off down the road to meet up with the ambulance.
As the situation cools down, those who were causing the trouble apologise to police.
“Not a very smart move man,” says Constable Rhys McKay to the drunk man. “Our main concern is your mate standing on the ground, and when you're pushing me away you're affecting me getting an ambulance here.”
It was a dramatic start to the night, but scenes like this are actually becoming less common after police launched a major prevention-first strategy three years ago.
It involves proactive units, known as public safety teams.
“Instead of being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, three weeks of our shifts we go out and proactively look for hotspots,” says Constable McKay.
This is how it works:
The night's agenda's is set at a briefing. Checks are then made that prolific offenders aren't breaching bail. Other units patrol parks, clearing drunks breaching liquor bans.
Across town, police enter large parties as they're closing down. With so many intoxicated people, it's a flashpoint for fights and drink driving.
So police setup a checkpoint at the entrance of the car park.
In total, around 90 units are on patrol in the greater South Auckland region, and incidents are pounced on quickly.
It's this style of policing that has contributed to a major turnaround of crime in South Auckland. In the past two years, recorded offences are down more than 6000.
But there are still 50,000 offences in the region each year – a lot more crime to tackle.
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2/07/2012 9:14:33 a.m.
Maybe an article worth writing about on this issue is, why the liquor industry are so quiet on the subject. And why HANZ always attacks the users of their bars & club membership. Maybe if the government levied the alcohol industry directly for every Police call-out, every A & E incident, every Ambulance call-out, ACC claim, the alcohol industry just might get involved in a solution because then they'll take some responsibility instead of standing on the sideline as always?
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