Victims of theft and burglary mostly care about completing the necessary paperwork to claim on their insurance, but what they maybe don't take into account is how this will affect their premiums.

Ultimately, insurers are passing the cost on. Overall they make a profit so, truth be told, the prevalence of crime is the marketing force that drives the insurance racket.

SNAP - a placebo

SNAP (Serial Number Action Partnership) is an initiative of the New Zealand Police, aiming to prevent New Zealand burglary and property offending, and make it harder for criminals to sell stolen goods in New Zealand...

My verdict is that SNAP serves little purpose beyond collating an insurance claim. It is at best 'feel-good' factor but more likely detracts from genuine initiatives to apprehend thieves and recover stolen goods, for the following reasons:

Creating something more effective

With above considerations in mind I set out to create something more genuinely useful in the form of my ngaro serialnumber data-base and this website in general. Alas it soon became apparent that such a private innitiative has no chance of success. People would tell me there was already the SNAP initiative, and quite frankly, the last thing they want is their stolen property back when the insurance will buy them the latest model as a replacement.

None the less, I approached my local MP with constructive ideas and she conversed intelligently. Some weeks later I visited her office again and then submitted the following summary.

crime deterrents

They acknowledged my visits and potential of my ideas, but nothing ensued. Meanwhile right outside my house car thieves made off with my neighbors truck in the early hours one morning. I've also read of other crimes taking place in the vicinity. Stolen vehicles are being used in raids and to transport stolen goods.

Vehicle Thefts

ram raided Three cars were torched and a dairy was ram raided in Woolston on Friday morning.

The burnt out vehicles are not taken for joy riding. These are to transport stolen goods and then set alight and abandoned. burnt out car Here is one I photographed recently and the council was extremely efficient at removing it from the road side... almost as if to conceal the true scale of the problem?!

Culture of Crime

I was raised in a culture where working for a living commanded respect, as did honesty and integrity. As a parent I had little to no support from friends or relatives, but to me that would be no excuse to disrespect the rights of my neighbors.

Some crime involves vicious assault. police request mugged To me it feels like the situation is degenerating into a reign of terror from violent thugs, vandals and gangsters that live right here in our own neighbourhood.

What is it that drives so many younger people to feel disenfranchised from the community? Why are they drawn to criminal gangs as their ingroup? Celia Lashlie an experienced prison officer who was involved with schools to create the good men project and wrote a number of books on the subject described it as a rite of passage to "manhood" for some.

IMO we do need to stop making excuses for perpetrators and address the causes of their anti-social behavior and definitely not foster a victim mentality of imagined grievances and entitlements, but simply sending them to prison where they derive status and credibility with their peers isn't going to solve anything.

Neighborhood Watch

If we value our safety and our property, I believe we all need to be proactive in the fight against crime: Seeing something suspicious we souldn't shrug it off and turn a blind eye, but rather look out for each other. When alarms go off, grab a camera/smartphone, get out there and see if there is anything noteworthy to record. However all I found was apathy and an attitude of "oh well I never have these problems". So who does, I wondered.

Earlier today somone sent me a link to an article about people who were burgled

These victims say they had only recently moved. It takes time to get CCTV and burglar alarms set up. Thieves know this. They watch and seize the first opportunity. I will soon be writing about things you can do right from the day you move in, but for now notice:

The scale of the problem can be over 2500 insidences in a MONTH here in Canterbury.

Society as a whole needs to find ways to make theft less lucrative. That means tracing and recovering stolen items and I think also confiscating property of the perpetrators to compensate victims.

The way the system works at the moment it's just a report filing and insurance claim exercise and the thieves are having a whale of a time at our expense.