Eastern Courier : December 22nd 2010
9 EASTERN COURIER, DECEMBER 22, 2010 NEWS TOP QUALITY FASHION CLOTHING AT AMAZINGLY LOW PRICES 439 ROSCOMMON ROAD, CLENDON (NEXT TO McDONALDS) PH 2689581 Centre focuses on victims Kids' zone: Detective senior sergeant Ann Wilkie in one of the children's interview rooms at the Multi Agency Centre. Photo: FIONA GOODALL By NICOLA WILLIAMS Victims' needs are at the forefront of the Multi Agency Centre. Police, Child Youth and Family and the district health board are working under one roof at the Manukau centre to support abuse victims. There have been 602 referrals since the centre opened in May. It's been really busy, we always knew it would be,'' says detective senior sergeant Ann Wilkie. It's been very successful and the relationships we have forged with other agencies has been brilliant.'' The collaborative approach provides huge benefits to the vic- tim in a non-threatening environ- ment. More than 50 plain-clothes police staff work from the building. They also work proactively to raise awareness in the community by doing presentations about the centre and how a person should re- port an offence. We try to encourage people to speak up if they have fears and let us know with some urgency.'' Mrs Wilkie says even uncon- firmed suspicions should be re- ported. We will investigate and if it comes to nothing then at least we know the child is in a safe environ- ment,'' she says. We have a child exploitation per- son who is working with known sex- ual offenders looking at trends and gathering intelligence.'' The centre is victim-focused in its design and its approach to dealing with the health and welfare needs. We are trying to set up a video link with the courts so victims don't have to go to court to give evidence.'' It avoids the trauma of the court experience which can be hugely intimidating''. We're hoping a rape complainant will tell their story once on DVD and that will become their evidence in court.'' Mrs Wilkie says a video link has been done before from police stations with very vulnerable people but the set-up at the centre will make it more common practice for abuse victims. We are setting up one of our rooms specifically to do the linkage. It's a really positive way forward,'' she says. An after hours forensics service is due to be operating from the centre early next year. To report child abuse call CYFs on 0508 FAMILY. To report adult sex- ual assault call 111, or to contact the Multi Agency Centre to report historic cases on 353-0000. Police say to think like a thief Police are urging people to secure their homes and businesses over the holiday period to avoid becoming a burglary victim. The key thing people can do is think like a thief''', Manurewa act- ing inspector Tony Van says. By doing this, it won't take long to figure out whether they are at risk of being burgled and what steps can be taken to prevent that.'' An increase in police numbers and the newly formed neighbour- hood policing teams will help moni- tor problem areas. Police advise people to keep doors and windows locked, record serial numbers of electronic items and photograph valuables, keep valuables out of sight, install an alarm system and get sensor lights fitted. Keep garden sheds and garages locked when not in use and hedges or plants around doors and windows well trimmed to avoid giving bur- glars a place to hide. Stop your mail if you are going away or arrange for someone to col- lect it. Keep the house secure when you are out in the garden or yard and don't open the door to strangers unless a chain is attached. Note down registrations of any suspicious vehicles -- often burglars will scope out a place beforehand. Police encourage residents to join or form a Neighbourhood Support group. Go to www.police.govt.nz for more tips. If you see a crime being commit- ted call 111.
December 17th 2010
December 29th 2010