Keep­ing town’s streets safe

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Petty crime is on the rise in Wanaka with the ar­rival of the peak win­ter sea­son.

Wanaka com­mu­nity pa­trollers have taken to the beat to re­duce the op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to of­fend.

Teenage par­ties spilling into the street, and a person re­mov­ing road cones have been some of the in­ci­dents the group has been in­volved in since pa­trols be­gan ear­lier this month.

The group’s aim is to be vis­i­ble to stop op­por­tunist of­fend­ers.

Po­lice com­mu­nity li­ai­son of­fi­cer con­sta­ble Mike Thomas said there had been a spike in dis­or­der and theft of­fences in town with the in­flux of peo­ple for the ski sea­son. ‘‘It’s great to have them (com­mu­nity pa­trol) on board. We see them as an as­set in po­lice pre­ven­tive work.’’ Thomas said.

Wanaka com­mu­nity pa­trol chair­man Steve Wor­ley said pa­trollers have been able to re­port in­ci­dents to po­lice be­fore things got out-of-hand.

‘‘If we weren’t there things could have de­vel­oped into a more un­sat­is­fac­tory sit­u­a­tion,’’ Wor­ley said.

The aim of the group was to be vis­i­ble enough to de­ter crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity and keep the com­mu­nity safer, he said.

Pa­trollers carry ra­dios linked to po­lice and will use them if they think a sit­u­a­tion was sus­pi­cious.

‘‘We ac­tu­ally don’t stop peo­ple. We ob­serve,’’ he said.

On the beat: Wanaka Com­mu­nity Pa­trol mem­ber Paul Ta­mati and chair­man Steve Wor­ley on the job.

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