Christchurch Police – Facebook page

Christchurch police have just set up a Facebook page to help Christchurch people be safe and feel safe.

The page, which is here, has been active for less than two days and is already very popular.  See the faces of those with whom the police would like to have a chat. Anyone you know?

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Crimestoppers

Crimestoppers is a New Zealand crime fighting organisation introduced from Britain as a result of the theft of Victoria Cross medals from the Waiouru Army Museum (there is a potted history at the end).

The concept is simple: if you think there is something suspicious it should be reported. If it is serious, and needs police help, dial 111. Where it is not urgent it would ideally still be reported directly to police. However there can be circumstances where the thought of others knowing you had contacted police can cause anxiety or fear. This is where Crimestoppers come in.

A topical issue in Christchurch is looting, and the disappearance of items from the Red Zone and homes in the suburbs. They have to go somewhere, to someone. Perhaps that someone has money or assets that seem out of character, or is offering you something at a bargain price. If this causes you disquiet contact the police, or use Crimestoppers.

Contacting Crimestoppers is easy and safe. All communications with Crimestoppers are anonymous. You can call them on their anonymous 0800 number 0800 555 111. Alternatively, you can use the encrypted online form on their website. The link to the form will take you to the UK Crimestoppers who will pass the information back to New Zealand. If you feel your situation is out of the ordinary, consider going to a public library and using a computer there.

Information received by Crimestoppers is checked, to ensure there is nothing which would identify whoever provided the information, then passed on to the appropriate authority (e.g. police, customs, immigration, corrections). They in turn will carefully investigate the information to see if it is correct, and whether there is other information to corroborate what has been given to them by Crimestoppers.

To find out more, go to the Crimestoppers’ website: www.crimestoppers-nz.org or use these specific links:

What does anonymous mean?
What information do you handle, and what should I report to other agencies?
What happens to information provided?
What if I am the victim of false allegations to Crimestoppers?
What about school crime?
Do you give advice on crime protection?
How good has Crimestoppers been in stopping crime?
Has Crimestoppers promise of anonymity ever been broken?

    For those of you who enjoy blogs, Crimestoppers have one here.

    Finally, a brief history from the Crimestoppers New Zealand website (here).

    Concept originated in US when a young college student was killed and no one would come forward to give information. The opportunity to give information anonymously and rewards bought results. Established in UK in similar circumstances. A policeman was murdered and no one came forward with information. Michael Ashcroft, a businessman, posted an award and the chance to give information anonymously. This bought results. Established in NZ as a result of theft of Victoria Crosses from Army Museum. This bought together Lord Ashcroft, who provided a reward for the medals return, and the Commissioner of Police and gave the impetus for the establishment of Crimestoppers New Zealand. The medals were returned undamaged. For history and success of our sister organisation, Crimestoppers UK.

    The CCC – Reaction and Resistance

    After the September earthquake Christchurch police produced an intelligence report. Using past disaster experiences from other countries, they tried to anticipate how problems related to social cohesion and alienation would unfold in Christchurch (the police report is here). The most obvious ones seemed to be frustration and anger leading to legal disputes or protest action of the physical and confrontational kind. There have been hints of protest action to come, however bubbling away below the surface are two forms of protest not related to law enforcement.

    The first is at the individual level where a ratepayer in the east has decided to stop paying rates. There may be more than one, and as an idea it has merit. The council is providing nothing to the east, and because the council is taking away what little there is here (Super Shed, QEII pool, maybe all of the QEII facilities), the payment of rates doesn’t seem appropriate. It might be an idea that will grow in popularity and, if the council cannot appease those who are unhappy with them, the council might go broke before the issue is otherwise resolved. It is worth thinking about.

    The second is an e-mail doing the rounds on the subject of transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability within the council. Raising performance issues associated with the chief executive it is calling, amongst other things, for an independent review of his performance. Addressed to all councillors, the e-mail allegedly comes from an organisation called the Christchurch Rate Payers Accountability Trust.  The Press has an article about this here. This is not a new issue but needs to be resolved quickly to retain the confidence of the people of Christchurch. If confidence in the Council and its officers is lost, every council action will be considered suspect. In this environment there is potential for some actions to be resented and resisted.

    Neither of the micro rates revolt or the push for accountability may get far, however if the council doesn’t deal quickly, and successfully, with these issues there will be a rapid rise in dissatisfaction. What follows then will polarise the community and marginalise the council to the point where the government will need to intervene as it did with Environment Canterbury. In fact the November elections would be a very good time to have special local body elections for councillors and mayor to ensure the citizens of greater Christchurch have the leadership they want.
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    Police Report – Canterbury Earthquake: key points and forecasting

    This has been blogged before (here), however it is such an important report it is worth blogging again.

    In December 2010 the NZ Police released an extensive report of events after the September earthquake (which presumably reoccurred in February). It contains a significant amount of researched material that has looked at the problems arising from other major disasters (e.g. Hurricane Katrina, Australian bushfires) and put them into a Canterbury context in an attempt to forecast social and anti-social developments through 2011 and 2012.

    One of the Report’s pointers for the future is that properties/areas vacated for repairs or rebuilding will become focal points for vandalism and theft. Increased membership of Neighbourhood Watch would be a good place for us to start. It would be also useful if we were to discuss how repairs and rebuilds in our area could be staggered to ensure that all vacated properties have neighbours present about them.

    The report, which makes very interesting reading, can be downloaded from here.
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