Lockdown challenging for some

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Penning this article, the Government has just announced a move to Alert Level 2 from today.

While there will obviously be restrictions, including small gatherings of only up to 10 people, those who have been cooped up for the past six or so weeks in the same residence and unable to work should now get some reprieve.

Levels 4 and 3 have been especially hard on some families for a range of reasons.

Families experiencing friction or personality clashes have suddenly found themselves contained in close proximity for an extended period of time, having to get on.

Sadly, some families have had to endure death or tragedy and they’ve been unable to grieve or commemorate their loved one as they would have expected.

And, understandably, many children and teenagers have struggled to fill the extra free time, giving rise to more online activity and the associated problems.

Adding mental health challenges obviously also makes the situation harder, but there are agencies available to assist and police have access to information and the ability to make referrals.

An interesting statistic for Mosgiel: in the six weeks prior to lockdown, there were 29 family harm incidents reported compared to 26 during lockdown (as at Monday, May 11). So not a lot of change here.

Also of interest are the statistics around reported burglary complaints. In the six weeks prior to lockdown, 10 burglaries were reported, compared to 19 in the six weeks since lockdown began. Bearing in mind, this is reported offences.

Wal’s Nurseries was one larger business that recently reported items stolen from a small outbuilding, including a petrol leaf blower, fuel containers (Mini-Golf written in black vivid) petrol and a fire extinguisher.

At the start of Alert Level 4, I began to attend more neighbourhood disputes. Being the bread and butter of my role, these are by far the hardest to deal with as, generally, no one party is able to distance themselves from the other.

The complaint usually involves annoying or anti-social type behaviours, property damage or boundary issues involving hedges or fences, green over-growth or water pooling.

Generally, these issues are civil, meaning police are not in a position to take criminal action unless there is independent evidence to corroborate fault or prove an allegation. The installation of a security camera is strongly recommended in these cases.

Last, but not least neighbourhood support can enhance resilience and strengthen communities.

Covid-19 has highlighted the benefits of being connected with your neighbours and a great way to do this is by forming a Neighbourhood Support Group in your street if you don’t already have one.

For more information, please contact Jacqui Hyde on either (021)166-0924 or email Jacqueline.hyde@police.govt.nz.