Keeping town’s streets safe
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.