Rural security focus of community meeting

Lock in the date . . . Gordon Thompson and Constable Murray Hewitson have co-organised a community security awareness meeting for next Wednesday. PHOTO: NICK BROOK

Changing times call for changing attitudes towards rural security, and a ‘‘community get-together’’ is being held in Owaka next week.

‘‘Country people do get targeted by crime, especially theft,’’ Owaka Lions Club president Gordon Thompson said.

‘‘So the club has decided to invite everybody to the hall for some expert advice and a bit of encouragement on working together to keep each other and our property safe.’’

Local police constable Murray Hewitson will be one of the advisers at the event.

‘‘Trust and complacency are a bit of a tradition in rural communities, but times are changing and a rise in living costs always leads to a spike in dishonesty offending,’’ he said.

‘‘Local crime is ordinarily low right now but we want to be ready with good habits around locking away valuables, options with security technology, from sensor lights to cameras, and a sense of vigilance.

‘‘Locals know their community, and if they see anything out of place they should take a photo or write it down and inform police,’’ Mr Hewitson said.

The Owaka Lions Security Awareness discussion will be held at Owaka Community Hall, 7 Ovendon St on Wednesday, October 26.

Organisers are expecting a friendly, informal, and well-attended event, with baking and refreshments, where the community could share experience and ideas and start forming their own networks to look out for each other.

Joining the discussion will be electrical technician Leigh Carmichael, with advice on technology and surveillance equipment, and representative John Freeland, to speak and offer insight from the perspective of the insurance industry.