On the beat: Neighbourhood issues 

This week has seen tragedy hit Waipā with the loss of local lives in a boating accident off North Cape. I send my sincere condolences to the families affected and their friends.

As a community, Cambridge is very caring. They say it takes a village to raise a child and in today’s hectic world, that is sometimes not easily achieved. We have had a few calls recently about unsupervised young children. Often the callers wish to remain anonymous, and in a neighbourhood setting, I can understand this. It is more difficult for Police to assist where this anonymity is the case however, particularly if we do not find the children in the risky situation ourselves.   I wanted to highlight that another avenue is to contact Oranga Tamariki. They are well placed to handle reports of concern for any child where you perceive a risk to that child – if they are unsafe or at risk of harm or danger; if you believe they are experiencing neglect, ill treatment or abuse.  If you are unsure about a situation involving a child and want advice you can also contact them. You can make a report of concern anonymously if you wish. Phone 0508 326 459 or email contact@ot.govt.nz.

Naturally, if there is immediate risk to a child or abuse in progress, you should call 111. Whichever avenue you take,  your call will spotlight a need for support for a family and this can be put in place.

Talking of neighbourhoods, disagreements between neighbours also regularly come to Police attention – unfortunately usually at a stage when things have escalated to angry altercations. Early, respectful and direct communication is so important in these situations. Try to approach your neighbour with a focus on a solution rather than just complaining or blaming the neighbour for whichever behaviour is causing upset. While neighbourhood disagreements can be upsetting and cause emotions to run high, try to remain calm. Explain why your neighbour’s behaviour is disturbing you and suggest a compromise that might suit everyone.  Be prepared to listen to what your neighbour has to say and let them know you are listening to their point of view.  Often people will write notes rather than talk in person and this can lead to misunderstandings and defensiveness, when a simple conversation could have sorted things out. Everyone is entitled to peaceful enjoyment of their home property, but living in close proximity, some activity/noise is to be expected. If a situation does escalate to the point of threats or you feel unsafe, you should call Police.

Until next week, look out for each other, Deb.

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