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March 2011
 
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First strike for Crime Prevention Unit

A newly created Waikato police unit had its first success just hours into its new role following an armed standoff in Hamilton this month.

The Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) provides a rapid response to developing crime trends and currently has a focus on burglary.

Inspector Karen Henrikson, Hamilton City Deployment Manager, says officers were called to a Maeroa address after reports a man armed with a shotgun was threatening self-harm and that two young children were in the house.

“The area was cordoned off by the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad and police negotiators secured the man’s surrender. He was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and referred on for psychiatric assessment,” she says.

Detective Senior Sergeant Karl Thornton with a plastic box containing $30,000, located by Waikato’s new Crime Prevention Unit after an armed standoff.
Photo: Police

The CPU made follow up inquiries and found a plastic box containing about $30,000 in the house. A compressor unit, believed to have been stolen, and a methamphetamine pipe were also located.

Karen says subsequent inquiries led police to another location where quantities of cannabis and a variety of property, again believed to have been stolen, was recovered. Another two firearms were also located including a sawn-off shotgun.

“The CPU was created so we could inject staff into problem areas,” says Karen.

“Over the past few months we managed a 36 percent drop in the number of reported residential burglaries and this new unit is just one new initiative we’re implementing to build on that progress.”

As well as attending burglaries in Hamilton’s local burglary hot spot, the highly visible team makes cold calls on known offenders, performs bail checks, makes traffic stops and takes on any other tasks that keep the heat on thieves.

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