At an awards ceremony hosted at Eden Park, Auckland, SelectaDNA Director David Morrissey collected the award from New Zealand Police Commissioner Peter Marshall.
The BNZ Safer Schools Programme has seen SelectaDNA Forensic Marking Kits deployed into every school in New Zealand through sponsorship from the BNZ. Assistance from key supporters Crimestoppers, New Zealand Police and the Ministry of Education has seen the programme produce some excellent results, culminating in an overall reduction of burglaries in educational facilities of just under 25% nationwide.
“We are honoured to be recognised in this way” said Morrissey. “We are proud that the programme has achieved these results and to receive this award is extremely humbling.”
Crimestoppers Chairman John Perham concurs with Morrissey.
“The overall results regarding burglary reduction in the public school sector have been excellent. While it’s not appropriate for the Safer Schools initiative to claim all of the 25% burglary reduction since the initiative commenced, there is no doubt in the views of Police that we have been a strong contributing factor,” said Perham.
Owen Loeffellechner, Head of Enterprise Security for BNZ feels that these results can only improve as the programme becomes more embedded in the South Island districts who only received their kits at the end of 2013.
“While the volume of incidents is decreasing, there are regions where numbers have stayed relatively static. We’d like to see a more consistent drop in school crime right across the country, as this sends a very strong message to potential perpetrators,” said Loeffellechner.
Police have seen immense value in the programme since its conception. It fitted well with Commissioner Marshalls Prevention First ethos, and has been a catalyst for action for local authorities as it’s moved into each of the Policing Districts.
“Whilst it’s nice to be awarded this from the Commissioner, we didn’t do this on our own,” said Morrissey. “This programme has been successful due to the collaborative efforts of all the organisations involved, particularly the Police, without their input at a grass roots level, the programme would never have garnered the results it has.”
It’s not only the Polices crime statistics that have benefitted from this initiative. All partners involved in the programme have found the journey extremely rewarding.
Loeffellechner says “our local teams have derived huge value out of the relationships they’ve cultivated with local schools and Police Staff. In some areas, this has revealed opportunities to improve financial literacy, and financial crime awareness.”
Although the programme has seen the initial roll out completed, programme partners are in early talks to look towards commencing a second phase in 2014.
Police have indicated that only a relatively small number of businesses have been recognised in this way. Owen Loeffellechner will receive the award on behalf of the BNZ at the Waikato Police Awards to be held this Friday in Hamilton.
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