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New steps give minor offences a hammering

New steps give minor offences a hammering

SECRUITY BREACH: SLS Security sales manager Clint Morris demonstrates how forensic coding system SelectaDNA works with the help of Whangaparaoa crime prevention team member Constable Shanon Robertson

Source: Rodney Times

A secruity device sending out high pitched signals finely tuned to annoy young ears is being used to fight crime on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

The aptly named Mosquito is housed in small boxes mounted at six strategic points along an area police say is a crime corridor.

Another two will be installed over the next fortnight.

The devices send out an irritating buzz that can only be heard by people under 25 and is designed to stop youths assembling at potential trouble spots.

The corridor starts at the Whangaparaoa Primary School, runs through Edith Hopper Park into the Whangaparaoa College grounds, around the back of the leisure centre and over to Stanmore Bay Skate Park, ending next to the Hibiscus Coast Association Football Club and Stanmore Bay Beach.

Police say the Mosquito is among several initiatives being used to combat tagging, liquor ban breaches, wilful damage, minor assaults, tagging and low-level drug dealing that usually takes place between 10pm and 3am from Thursday to Sunday.

And it's working with latest statistics showing crime in the area has dropped by 34 per cent over the last year.

SLS Security Group sales manager Clint Morris demonstrated how the Mosquito works during a meeting with police and community representatives on Wednesday.

He says the device is a preventative measure that ties in with police strategy.

"Instead of letting people congregate, which often leads to them drinking or taking drugs and tagging, this moves people on," Mr Morris says.

"The small box gives out a high pitched grating noise that can only be heard by under 25-year-olds.

"Most people can't find the location of where it is coming from so can't destroy it."

Mr Morris says the gadget won't clear an area out overnight but does work as a deterrent over a longer period.

"After about five to 10 minutes it becomes a nuisance. Combined security is still needed, as there is no one tool solution."

A police prevention team has stepped up its presence and is using various other initiatives as part of an overall crime fighting package.

Trees that could offer vandals and burglars cover have been removed in some areas like the soccer club and LED sensor lights have been installed.

The team also has also created contact cards listing details of people to get in touch with when problems occur.

Police says results of an online survey done earlier in the year show 75.5 per cent of more than 200 respondents people do not feel safe walking through Stanmore Bay Park after dark.

Ad Feedback Around 24 per cent say boredom is a key factor driving crime, along with alcohol at 21 per cent and loitering at 18 per cent.

Close to 66 per cent didn't know who to call if they found damage to facilities in the area.

Many wanted to see lighting, tables and seating, bins and barbecue facilities put in place.

"People want to use the area for family activities," Constable Elizabeth McDonald says


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