Community call to action on crime

AN attempt will be made to re-establish a city-wide Gisborne Neighbourhood Watch group tonight because of concern over what has been called “a slow but sure rise in the crime rate in Gisborne”.

A public meeting to discuss the formation of the group will be held at Te Wananga o Aotearoa at 630 Childers Road from 5.30pm today.

An earlier neighbourhood watch scheme operated in Gisborne in the mid-1980s as part of a nationwide initiative.

“Random attacks on people in the street are being reported or talked about on social media,” said meeting spokeswoman Michelle Keefe-Tai.

Young people were becoming more daring in random attacks on other young people, on their neighbours and even neighbours’ friends, she said.

“This needs to stop. The only way to do it is if organisations, families, friends, Gisborne District Council, police, Maori Wardens and anyone else here who wants our streets to be safe, begin to work together.”

Ms Keefe-Tai said Christmas and New Year was approaching fast.

“We all know how Gisborne is then, with more thefts, burglaries, more domestic violence and more children out on the street late at night.”

A Neighbourhood Watch re-establishment had been inspired by Gisborne woman Meri Haapu, who will be the project manager, she said.

“We know of children aged 14 who beat a helpless gentlemen on the street, children as young as 10 leading packs of children out after 11pm at night, of young teenagers harassing primary students as they walk home from school in an attempt to recruit them.

“There is a need for street monitoring to ensure the safety of our children.”

The group has been canvassing the city for support for equipment to help operate, including requests for spotlights, mobile phones, first aid kits and first aid tuition, high-viz vests and other clothing fuel vouchers.

“We are sure we can all agree that there is a great need for Gisborne to have our own Neighbourhood Watch, so we hope people will support tonight’s meeting.

“To our social service providers, you are very much encouraged to come along, or at the very least have a representative from your organisation attend.

“We encourage our community members to bring at least one neighbour or one friend or one family member and encourage them to do the same.”

AN attempt will be made to re-establish a city-wide Gisborne Neighbourhood Watch group tonight because of concern over what has been called “a slow but sure rise in the crime rate in Gisborne”.

A public meeting to discuss the formation of the group will be held at Te Wananga o Aotearoa at 630 Childers Road from 5.30pm today.

An earlier neighbourhood watch scheme operated in Gisborne in the mid-1980s as part of a nationwide initiative.

“Random attacks on people in the street are being reported or talked about on social media,” said meeting spokeswoman Michelle Keefe-Tai.

Young people were becoming more daring in random attacks on other young people, on their neighbours and even neighbours’ friends, she said.

“This needs to stop. The only way to do it is if organisations, families, friends, Gisborne District Council, police, Maori Wardens and anyone else here who wants our streets to be safe, begin to work together.”

Ms Keefe-Tai said Christmas and New Year was approaching fast.

“We all know how Gisborne is then, with more thefts, burglaries, more domestic violence and more children out on the street late at night.”

A Neighbourhood Watch re-establishment had been inspired by Gisborne woman Meri Haapu, who will be the project manager, she said.

“We know of children aged 14 who beat a helpless gentlemen on the street, children as young as 10 leading packs of children out after 11pm at night, of young teenagers harassing primary students as they walk home from school in an attempt to recruit them.

“There is a need for street monitoring to ensure the safety of our children.”

The group has been canvassing the city for support for equipment to help operate, including requests for spotlights, mobile phones, first aid kits and first aid tuition, high-viz vests and other clothing fuel vouchers.

“We are sure we can all agree that there is a great need for Gisborne to have our own Neighbourhood Watch, so we hope people will support tonight’s meeting.

“To our social service providers, you are very much encouraged to come along, or at the very least have a representative from your organisation attend.

“We encourage our community members to bring at least one neighbour or one friend or one family member and encourage them to do the same.”

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