Thefts from vehicles still on the increase

Last night was a wild and windy night for Botany Crime Watch Patrol. I saw this story in the Times just before we went out to help the police and our community.

The good news is robberies in the area are down 11 per cent over the past 12 months.

The bad news is thefts from vehicles, particularly those on driveways – known as non-dwelling burglaries, are uncomfortably high.

Counties Manukau East Police’s Area Commander Inspector Wendy Spiller told the Times that while robberies were down significantly across the area and the whole of the Counties Manukau District, thefts from vehicles have been increasing year-on-year.

Alarmingly, nearly 40 per cent of burglaries are from vehicles, many of which are unlocked and parked in residential driveways.

The sad reality is that our community isn't as safe as it should be and we need to take precautions. Unfortunately vehicles are an easy target, especially when parked on the road. If possible make sure you don't leave anything that looks valuable in the vehicle, although I know this isn't always practical (especially for tradies).

We're fortunate to be renting a place with a garage which fits our cars but not everyone has that option. Ensuring the street lights are working will help, although some crimes happen during the day as the criminals get more brazen.

Talk to your neighbours and look out for each other. We make sure our neighbours know when we go away and it's a huge relief knowing someone is keeping an eye on the place.

If you're keen to get more involved, consider volunteering for your local community patrol. It doesn't take much but the more people who help, the more eyes and ears in the community, working alongside the police to prevent crime from happening.