Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Botany and Ormiston Times Thursday April 30 2015
www.times.co.nz Botany and Ormiston Times, Thursday, April 30, 2015 — 5 welcome home KC10789 columnist Dangerous offenders TODAY’S shift is an extra early start, with a search warrant planned for an address in East Tamaki. A member of the public had spotted a suspicious vehicle at the scene of a burglary in the weekend, which has led us to this address. People at the address are considered dangerous and have been known to be in possession of firearms. For this reason we are taking every precaution and are debriefing with a big team, including the Armed Offenders Squad, Police dogs and animal control. The Police Eagle helicopter is going to be watching from above to assist. We arrive at the address at 6:45am led by the Armed Offenders Squad and rush in to find eight people in the house scrambling to get away from us. Luckily there are no firearms in sight. With the Eagle helicopter hovering above us, we are notified over the radio that one person has taken off from a side door and is jumping over the fence into a neighbouring property. Upon hearing this news, I race back to the car and follow Eagle’s directions which take me around the block. Eagle directs me into a property about 500m down the road, where they’ve seen the person disappear into some bushes. The Police dogs are right behind me and quickly catch a track leading us straight to the person. He is arrested and we take him back to the station while the rest of the group are searching the property. There is a lot of stolen property at the house, which we believe is connected to a number of burglaries which occurred in the weekend all around the area. When we speak to him about the stolen property that was found, he tells us about six burglaries he committed with a friend in the weekend - a couple of which haven’t even been reported to us. With this information, we are able to sort through a lot of the stolen property and arrange for it to be returned to its owners. We have been able to solve six burglaries, all thanks to the vigilance of a member of the public, who noted down some information that lead us to find all the property. – Constable Shaun Winstanley Counties Manukau East Tactical Crime Unit (TCU – “Burglary Squad”) BEAT With Officer Shaun Winstanley On the electoral campaign Pushing the youth to vote The overall voting turnout in New Zealand has gone down from 80 per cent in the 80s to 76.76 per cent for the 2014 general elections. By Farida master ■■ LAST year, Kenneth Lam and Sisela Mafua attended around 25 public and community events and festivals. Between them, this year Mr Lam, team leader registrar of electors, Ms Mafua deputy registrar and their event-hopping team, have already covered around 10 public events. They mainly target cultural festivals like the ASB Polyfest that involves youth. It’s the best place for them to reach out to the young and easily restless. At one time, every teenager believed that the right to vote was a rite of passage to adulthood. Not anymore. Going from the numbers that show a downward spiral, the electoral turn out in New Zealand has dipped phenomenally. In an attempt to rectify it, every year between February and June, the registrar of electors focuses on a dedicated school campaign. They address the year 13 students at every college in the locality. “Earlier we used to take a slot in the assembly but the minute the students heard us talk about voting, they would switch off. “ We now request the dean of the college to have the head students do the presentation. The results have been much better,” he says. Students can enrol when they are 17 years old and get automatically enrolled in the system on their 18th birthday. “ We’ve identified several categories from 17-24 that don’t vote. The law requires that whoever is eligible by law have to enrol as there is a fine,” says Mr Lam. “It is important for people to have a say. “We are lucky to live in a democracy and we can all play our part in keeping the democracy strong by getting on the electoral roll and voting. “Politicians are elected by people who are a deciding factor,” he says. “It is mandatory for permanent residents and citizens to enrol and participate in the general elections where we choose the parties and politicians who will represent us in Parliament; and in local elections when we choose the people who will make decisions about our local areas. “It also means we get to have a say on big national issues through public referendums.” The referendum for the choice of flag is in November. The first referendum which will be in November will invite the public to choose a preferred flag design from a range put forward by the Flag Consideration Panel. The second referendum to be held in April 2016 will be run off between the preferred design and the current flag. plunket Car seat services to finish RENTAL and sale of Plunket car seats will be phased out over the next 12-18 months. The service is no longer financially viable because fewer people are using the service, Plunket says. Instead, the charity plans to do more to prevent children from being injured in and around the home where most accidents occur. The car seat service was launched in 1981 when research showed that only about 20 per cent of children were properly restrained when travelling in cars. However 2014 Ministry of Transport data shows that 93 per cent of children under five travelled in car seats. Andrea McLeod, Plunket’s chief operating officer says the charity advocated successfully for the law change to make car seats for children mandatory, and its programmes have helped families get their children into car seats. However, the number of Plunket car seat sites has dropped from 283 at its peak in the 1980s to 72 currently. “ There are now many retailers better placed than Plunket to sell seats and our decision to move out of the rental and retail space, which has continued to make a loss for several years, will not see a drop in access to good, safe seats available to parents,” she says. The change is also driven by data on unintentional injuries. The most up-to-date figures from the injury Prevention Research Unit at Otago University show that fatalities for children 0-4 years average more than 40 a year and hospitalisations average more than 2500 a year for this age group. Most unintentional injuries happen to children in the home, “the very place that should be safest,” Ms McLeod says. Over the coming 12-18 months, Plunket will work across each region to manage the exit from the rental and sale of car seats and put in place a broader injury prevention plan, of which car seat advocacy and education will be a part. Team leader registrar of electors, Kenneth Lam and deputy registrar Sisela Mafua are working on a dedicated youth campaign to ensure more students vote. Times photo Farida Master who can enrol? 17 years or older and have ■➤ lived in New Zealand for more than one year continuously at some time in your life Are a New Zealand citizen ■➤ Are a permanent resident ■➤ of New Zealand *Cook Islanders, Australians, Niueans and Tokelauans can enrol once they have lived in New Zealand continuously for 12 months. They do not require permanent residency to be eligible to enrol and vote.
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