Women ban­ish thugs

Central Leader - - News - B y J a n i e S m i t h

Mis­chief-mak­ers know Avon Lines and An­d­rina Grove are a force to be reck­oned with in their Mt Roskill neigh­bour­hood.

The pair have re­ceived an Auck­land City Coun­cil com­mu­nity safety award for their work set­ting up Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port groups.

Both live near Fearon Park where safety is­sues prompted Ms Lines to raise con­cerns with her Hous­ing New Zealand ten­ancy man­ager three years ago.

“We were hav­ing drug prob­lems, al­co­hol prob­lems and peo­ple hang­ing out in the park be­ing ob­nox­ious. There are mums com­ing to the park now who weren’t back then be­cause they were too scared,” says Ms Lines.

Com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment ad­viser Char­lotte Esser got in­volved and sug­gested form­ing a Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port group.

She or­gan­ised meet­ings with resi- dents and com­mu­nity con­sta­ble Graeme Bruges, which is where Ms Lines and Ms Grove met.

The women were so keen that af­ter help­ing co­or­di­nate their Mt Roskill group they signed up as ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers of Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port Auck­land.

Ms Esser says the women are a “magic team” who “in­spire peo­ple to ac­tu­ally take con­trol of the is­sues in the neigh­bour­hood and not feel pow­er­less”.

In the past eight months the pair have helped set up 43 groups and will fol­low up with res­i­dents to make sure the plan gets off the ground.

In their own neigh­bour­hood they have a tight-knit net­work of peo­ple keep­ing an eye out, in­clud­ing around the perime­ter of Fearon Park.

“We have eyes and ears in the park. We get in­for­ma­tion all the time,” Ms Line says.

“We don’t need to have hooli­gans and thugs in ar­eas with fam­i­lies.”

Photo: JANIE SMITH

S a fe t y firs t:

Avo n L i n e s, l e f t , a n d A n d r i n a G r ove, r ig h t , wo n a c o m mu - n i t y s a fe t y awa r d w i t h t h e s u p p o r t o f H o u s i n g N Z c o m mu n i t y d eve l o p m e n t man­ager Char lotte Esser, cen­tre.

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