Driving back today from Tutakaka from a short holiday, I heard the disturbing news that South Auckland businessman, Bruce Emery, had stabbed teenager Pihema Cameron on Saturday night. Pihema was with a friend and were about to tag a fence, when Bruce ran after them and stabbed the tagger - Pihema died.
What was most disturbing about it was my initial reaction which went along the lines of "good job". 10 years ago I would never have said or thought such a thing - taking the law into your own hands just wasn't in my cup of tea.
My second reaction was absolute horror at my first - of course I don't think that stabbing a tagger was a just act and I don't think I would ever partake in acts of vigilantism (although touch my nieces and I won't be held accountable for my actions). However, after 5 years of property management (thankfully now in my past), and dealing with constant acts of theft and vandalism against mine and my clients properties - I am ready to crack.
I live in a nice neighbourhood, but in the month of December there were 40 stolen vehicle, 45 burglaries, 131 thefts from cars (one being mine). No figures on the number of tags made to property, but since my garage is tagged every few weeks it must be nearing 1,000 acts of vandalism every month. So I have to deal with crime at least once a month (when I was in property management it was about 3 times a month).
I don't think I'm particularly out of the ordinary in this regard and I also think that Bruce Emery was probably dealing with a similar (and probably worse) scenario down in South Auckland and simply just cracked. Unfortunately now he will be sent to jail and his family will have to live without a son, brother, husband and father.
Pihema's family also must deal with life without their son and brother - just because he and his like can't leave the rest of us alone to get on with our non-criminal lives.
Now there is a way to help out the over-stretched Police force by volunteering for Community Patrols NZ and patroling your streets. Less crime = less stress for us all. And the more that volunteer, the less night patrols each individual (ie: me) has to do per month.
And if you really need serious bad-arse help - that the Police just can't provide - then call Rent-a-Bro and the likes of the Parnell Panther will come and sort out those baddies for you - good to know.