Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times, Wed, Oct 17
www.times.co.nz Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, October 17, 2012 --- 5 122103 P: 271 8020 E: email@example.com Times Design Store offers a wide range of media services for creative, effective and affordable advertising and PR, across all mediums. We can help you grow your business. Contact us today to build a creative partnership in which you can rely on our industry experience to develop effective visual communications for your business. Platform for Asian people By Rebecca Gardiner SOUTH Asian seniors are being brought together for a meeting to strengthen links and forge new friendships. South Asian families living in East Auckland are invited to the hui run by the New Zealand Brahman Samaj organisation. There'll be entertainment from cultural groups and speakers at the free event at 11am-4pm this Saturday at Bucklands and Eastern Beaches Memorial Hall. Speakers from organisations such as Counties Manukau District Health Board and Auckland Regional Migrant Services will talk on topics around healthy ageing, while others will share personal stories about life in New Zealand. Navdeep Sharma, of Pakuranga, is helping to organise the meeting and says while it's open to di erent age groups, elderly people are the special guests. "We should honour them and start with their blessing," she told the Times. The grandmother-of-two, whose husband Suresh is vice-president of the group, says the aim is to encourage positive attitudes towards ageing, celebrate cultural diversity, promote community participation and living together in harmony. "We should not feel like we do not belong," says Mrs Sharma. "We should all get together and see what we can exchange and learn for the community. "The 21st century global community is going to meet. They'll talk and maybe make new friends." Planning for the meeting started in August, after Brahman Samaj members decided to hold events promoting cultural togetherness and prevent social isolation. "We decided we should invite South Asian families and give them a platform to meet and share. "Most families we contacted wanted to know how they can live happily. We want to go to them so they feel like somebody cares." By Chris Harrowell RETURNING from a shopping trip to fnd their vehicle’s windows smashed and laptop computer missing from the back seat would be enough to ruin anyone’s day. With that in mind, police offc- ers and community groups are working to reduce theft and raise education about what people can do to avoid having their property targeted. Botany community police con- stable Garry Boles says people who park their vehicles at Botany Town Centre or The Hub can take steps to make life harder for crimi- nal offenders. “If a person leaves something under a jacket in their car a criminal will break into it just to see what’s under it,” he told the Times. “We’ve only had 10 thefts from the area since May, despite eight million people visits each year. “A lot of victims can stop becom- ing victims. “If a person has a GPS naviga- tional device in their car and puts it into the glovebox, it leaves a mark on the dashboard or window. A thief will see that. “If people have valuable items in their vehicle and have to leave them there, they should put them in the boot, so they’re out of sight.” Mr Boles says 40 surveillance cameras and a number of full-time security guards monitor the com- mercial area that includes Botany Town Centre, The Hub and the shops adjacent to Kmart on Ti Rakau Drive. Criminals who break into cars target a certain type of vehicle. “They usually look for late- model business cars,” Mr Boles says. “Those are the ones they know may have a laptop computer, or something similar inside them. “They’re not targeting someone in a 1987 Mazda that’s got a rug across the seats. “If a vehicle has lots of bling, it might have goodies in it and that’s the one that’ll be targeted.” Mr Boles says it’s a good safety measure to have an alarm installed in a vehicle, but it can only do so much. “What amazes us is the amount of cars that have windows open or their doors unlocked,” he says, of vehicles parked in Botany. Members of the Botany Crime Watch Patrol community group conduct regular inspections of vehicles parked around the area. A survey on October 2 at a restau- rant on Torrens Road, Burswood, found 40 vehicles parked in the 95-bay car park had items visible inside. Group chairman Dick Marshall says about 30-40 per cent of the vehicles they check contain per- sonal property. Patrollers place a fyer under each vehicle’s windscreen wiper informing its owner the car has been checked. It also contains information and advice on steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of being victim- ised by thieves. “About eight per cent of vehicles have a GPS device,” Mr Marshall says. “If a car’s windows are down and doors unlocked, which is the worst end of the scale, then we phone police or local security, but that’s less than one per cent of all cases. “We want to change people’s behaviour – this is about public education. “Our patrollers aren’t looking at a vehicle’s registration or warrant of ftness. We aren’t police offcers, it’s more of a guardian type role.” Eyes peeled on belongings Botany Crime Watch Patrol members helping to stop thieves in their tracks are, clockwise from left, Colin Kennard, Pat Tunstall, Peter Grant and Keith Butler. 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