Taking responsibility 

Hello everyone, I hope you have all had a good week, and marked the public holiday memorialising HRH Queen Elizabeth in whatever way felt best for your whānau.

School holidays are upon us so its time for my reminder to parents and caregivers to be especially  aware of where their children are, who they are with and what they are doing to occupy themselves for the next two weeks.  As always there are various holiday programme options available, however I understand they come at a cost. If you are struggling to cover school holidays with annual leave, why not share the responsibility with the parents of your child’s friends, so that leave is minimised and the kids have fun playdates at the same time.

What I urge you not to do is assume a community responsibility for groups of primary age children roaming around town or hanging out for hours at playgrounds and the skate park. We invariably see an increase in youth crime – thefts and general disorder, during the school holidays. The culprits are by no means limited to teenagers, and primary age children also feature. Children do not have the cognitive abilities to think through all the potentially negative consequences of their actions. They may also do things in a group, they would never do alone.

As always, if you are getting away for a break, remove the enticement for opportunists. Hide valuables out of sight.  Keep your garage doors closed, especially in the evening, to avoid highlighting all of the goodies you keep within. Ensure all windows and doors are locked and security alarms and CCTV systems are working. Have a friend or neighbour check on your property, clear any circulars from your letterbox and maybe even park a car in your driveway.

Try not to advertise to others that you are away and ensure a neighbour knows how to get in touch with you should any incident occur.

There’s nothing worse than coming home to find you have been burgled. If you aren’t taking your cherished pets with you, do ensure they are also being adequately cared for in your absence. Animal welfare is important.

While driving on the roads, drive to the conditions and be patient. Schedule regular stops and breaks to ensure everyone reaches their destination safe and in one piece. Whatever your transportation, plan your travel to avoid peak times

Having said that, the Waikato has a lot to offer locally. If you are stay-cationing, look out for your neighbours and plan before you party.

Have a great week.

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