following up on this post i did last week about police advice to south asians to avoid having flags outside their homes etc, my local ethnic liaison officer has continued to be in contact with me. he has provided me with the press release which i've copied in full below. make of it what you will. i'm not sure if i'll follow up any further with this - feeling a little low on energy just now.
Counties-Manukau District Police: South-East Asian Advisory Board
Media Release: Positive advice misinterpreted
A discussion took place in the South East Asian Advisory Board meeting on disproportionate number of South Asian/Indian houses being burgled.
Amongst the causes identified as contributing to this spate of burglaries was the common perception that South Asians/Indians keep cash and jewelry at home; that South Asians/Indians are lax in securing their homes against burglary, hence easy prey.
During the discussion on what steps need to be taken to discourage targeting South Asian/Indian homes it was suggested that the religio-cultural flags that a section of Indo-Fijians flies in their lawns, may be announcing to the burglars that this house has money and jewelry, and the community may be asked to look at the option of not flying these flags so that the burglars do not have an easy identification of potential targets.
The statement around Indian festivals also sought to make the point that during celebrations, burglars may target Indian homes under the impression that people will be at advertised celebrations.
It was never the intention of the advisory issued by South East Asian Liaison Officer, Gurpreet Arora, to tell people what they can and cannot do. Intention was simply to identify some steps that people and communities can take to make their homes less vulnerable to burglaries.
It, of course, follows that if the South Asians/Indians start moving their cash and jewelry to bank vaults or in safes at home or put security alarms at home, burglars will gradually move away from these easy targets.
South East Asian Advisory Board feels that the language used in the advisory may have contributed to mis-interpretation of the suggestions, but the intention behind the advisory must be lauded by all as it only seeks to insulate South Asian/Indian communities against burglars.
The Board also believes that even though much of the discussion is negatively tinged, the advisory has been able to make people look at this issue and seek solutions to mitigate this problem, as putting an end to all burglaries may never be possible.
The Board hopes that the public discussion will now move to discussing concrete steps that people can take to make their homes less vulnerable to burglaries.
On behalf of Counties-Manukau District Police's South-East Asian Advisory Board
Board members: Verpal Singh, Ranjna Patel, Liaqat Waraich, Shabbir Wasiuallah, Venkat Raman, Manjula Walgampola and Moses Singh.