Each week, we interview someone from around Adelaide who might be helpful during your time as an international student. This week’s guest:
Sergeant Peter Winter, Community Engagement Sergeant
South Australian Police (SAPOL)
What sorts of crimes should international students be aware of?
They should be aware of all types of crimes. The point is not to become complacent and think “it won’t happen to me”.
Say my phone is stolen – should I bother reporting this to police? Why?
First of you should advise your service provider of your IMEI number (this is your serial number for your phone) To get it press *#06#. If you have tracking on your phone, Police will follow this up. If Police happen to recover your phone they can then get it back to you. By reporting the theft it will also give Police a better of idea of what is going on in the community.
What about things like stalking?
Stalking is an offence. If it is ongoing and unwanted attention Police should be made aware, even if it is online. Police will issue a stalking caution to the person, warning them to cease their behaviour or they can be arrested.
When you talk to a police officer, what should you call them? Constable? Sergeant? Officer?
Be respectful. If you don’t know their rank call them sir/m’aam. If you know their name you can use that. Police don’t mind you not using their rank.
Are there any sorts of common misconceptions that international students have about police?
Yes – That going to Police and reporting something that has happened to them is going to get them into trouble or affect their visa.
Do you have any quick practical tips for keeping safe in Adelaide?
Safety in numbers: try avoid walking around on your own, particularly in isolated areas. Stay alert to what is happening around you. Don’t get complacent and think it won’t happen to you
The emergency number is 000, but what if it isn’t exactly an emergency?
000 is for a life threatening situations – e.g., if someone is breaking into your home while you are in the house, or someone is threatening you with a weapon. If it isn’t an emergency, ring 131 444 – this is the police assistance line to report crime or get assistance in a non emergency situation.
Why do police in SA use horses?
Our mounted police are used for a number of purposes – ceremonial events, conducting searches in rugged areas, for protecting the public in demonstrations.
So is the idea that in crowds, mounted police can get a better view from up higher (ie, from on a horse)?
They’re good for crowd control and visibility. In crowded situations a horse can direct where people go – when a horse moves, you move with it; you have no option.