Anger at Burglary of Civil Defence Centre

5 May 2010

Several thousand dollars' worth of equipment has been stolen or vandalised following another break-in at the Grenada North civil defence centre over the weekend.

The incident has angered local people involved in the civil-defence community - and is likely to lead to a rethink of emergency management in the suburb.

City Council Emergency Preparedness Manager Fred Mecoy says essential emergency equipment - including a generator and two-way radio - were stolen from the building in Grenada North Park over the weekend and the interior of the building was 'trashed'.

Emergency insulation blankets, stationery and other equipment were thrown about the park.

"I'm gutted by this - it's the second time it's happened in the last year. And this kind of thing tends to upset local volunteers too because they tend to wonder whether it's all worth the bother - especially when they're trying to raise community interest in civil defence."

Police are investigating the weekend's break-in. Fred says: "If anyone knows the whereabouts of the stolen items, or who was responsible, please don't hesitate for one moment to let police, or WEMO, know. Potentially, they have seriously compromised the well-being of the Grenada North community and people in the surrounding area."

Local City Councillor Ngaire Best who, as the Council's Social Portfolio Leader, is responsible for civil defence and emergency management policy, says the Council will have to have a close look at whether the building can be 'burglar-proofed' or whether another location will have to be found for the storage of the emergency gear.

"We're in the processing of strengthening the civil defence volunteer network right across the city - and blatant vandalism and theft like this is of no help whatsoever."