Community patrol on the beat in Alexandra district

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PAM.JONES

@alliedpress.co.nz

Central Otago’s newest rural community patrol is up and running and will support the community and local police to “build a safer community”, group leaders say.

The Alexandra Rural Community Patrol was launched several weeks ago and was now doing patrols in the Alexandra-Clyde-Omakau area in its new vehicle, chairwoman Wendy Rameka said.

The new group would “complete” the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes circuit, working alongside existing community patrols in Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown, Mrs Rameka said.

Volunteer patrollers would act as “extra eyes and ears” in the community, doing patrols in the area and reporting any concerns or criminal or behavioural activities back to police.

They would also do things such as assist at accidents and crime scenes, help control crowds and assist police at community events, watch out for stolen cars and report graffiti to police.

The Alexandra patrol was under the umbrella of Community Patrols New Zealand, which was formed in 2001 and supported more than 5000 volunteers in 150 affiliated community patrols, Mrs Rameka said.

Community patrols were “making a real difference” throughout the country, and support for the Alexandra group from local individuals, groups and businesses was already high.

The Central Lakes Trust funded the Alexandra patrol’s vehicle, with assistance from Aspiring Motors, who sold the group the car.

welcomed, and all would receive training and be police vetted, Mrs Rameka said.