Focus on prevention of crime works every time

Northcote Central on the North Shore has been the target of a cleanup campaign by police, social agencies and community groups. Families used to live in fear, were intimidated, and drug dealers ran the neighbourhood.

But all that changed. Why?

Because the police took a hard line with local crime – a zero tolerance policy on crime.

And the result? Inspector Gary Davey of North Shore Police said “we drove drug dealers out of the houses. There has been a significant reduction in disorder, intimidation, violence and drug dealing” – all with the support of the community.

This is not rocket science,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First. “When a community, and especially the Police, comes down strongly on crime and criminals, it always works.”

The government is trying to figure out how to keep criminals out of prison. A far better place to start, as displayed by the success of Northcote Central, would be to prevent the crime in the first place.”

That will take a commitment of a zero tolerance policy to any crime, even petty crime including tagging and boy racers. Police, social agencies and community groups need to be resourced to the extent that together, they can deal effectively with potential career criminals, and help families feel safe in their own community.

The answer to our high prison population is staring us in the face. The experience of Northcote Central highlights the success of that answer.”



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