By John Subritzky
Auckland has seen increasing crime over recent months that has led once more to the debate about arming the Police.
Whau, and Avondale especially, have not been immune to this trend. We were shocked first by one shooting, and then a second. Firearm violence always brings fear due to the risk of innocent bystanders getting caught in the crossfire.
Car arsons happen intermittently, usually relating to other criminal activity. The arson of three cars at one property was next level and made national news.
Some of the incidents seem to be related to the wider Auckland disputes over territory between gangs.
In New Lynn there were two ram raids. A bystander reported that the ram raid of Warehouse Stationery only seemed to net a charity box selling chocolates. A dairy was ram raided and the target always seems to be tobacco. These raids are costly in property damage to shops and the stolen vehicles, as well as lost product.
In Avondale main street, a man being chased by a car driven on the footpath, was captured on dashcam.
There is widespread low-level crime though, that seems to impact even more people. That is property damage and thefts. Cars are being broken into, sometimes even when there is nothing of value in the car.The cost of replacing windows, even if there is insurance, can be a huge challenge for many victims who can least afford it.
There is also mail theft and courier parcel theft happening. People have been seen going through mailboxes in broad daylight. In Blockhouse Bay, a woman was seen sending two young children onto a property to take a courier parcel from the front door.
A few people can do a lot of damage, so if they are no longer active, the number of victims subsides dramatically. There are some actions that we can all take to reduce the likelihood of being impacted. Removing all valuables and locking cars is a great step. Putting a lock on your mailbox helps. Directing courier deliveries to an address where people can receive it like a work address or some retailers that accept parcels. Camera surveillance systems continue to be popular to help people feel empowered and reveal some strange nocturnal activity.
Community Patrols like the CPNZ can be the eyes and ears for us all, but currently are short of volunteers. Joining them is one way that you could help your community.