24/7 po­lice pa­trol for Bal­clutha

Clutha Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - HAN­NAH MCLEOD

Bal­clutha will have 24/7 pa­trolling po­lice cov­er­age as part of the Gov­ern­ment’s $500m Safer Com­mu­ni­ties pack­age.

It was an­nounced yes­ter­day that the South­ern District will re­ceive 37 new po­lice staff in the next four years, as part of a na­tion­wide in­crease in polic­ing.

Bal­clutha is ex­pected to have an of­fi­cer on duty 24/7 by 2018/19.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Mike Bush said fur­ther de­tails of the polic­ing pack­age in­cluded a tar­get of hav­ing 95 per cent of New Zealan­ders within 25 kilo­me­tres of pa­trolling po­lice, 24 hours a day.

Clutha District mayor Bryan Cado­gan’s re­ac­tion to the news that Bal­clutha would have po­lice staff on duty 24/7 was ‘‘yay’’.

‘‘The talk I hear from po­lice is there’s a so­phis­ti­ca­tion coming through [in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity],’’ he said.

If there was more so­phis­ti­ca­tion ‘‘on the other side of the fence’’, it was great that po­lice re­sources were be­ing in­creased to com­bat that.

‘‘I’m re­ally pleased to see it will make a dif­fer­ence to our district.’’

Clutha-South­land MP Todd Bar­clay said he was thrilled with the an­nounce­ment, par­tic­u­larly for the Bal­clutha com­mu­nity.

‘‘Bal­clutha will be one of 20 towns around New Zealand to be re­sourced to en­sure a po­lice of­fi­cer will be on pa­trol and on call at all hours of the day,’’ Bar­clay said.

‘‘An­other South­land ru­ral sta­tion will also re­ceive re­sources for round the clock po­lice cov­er­age, but the ex­act sta­tion is yet to be con­firmed.

‘‘Th­ese ex­ist­ing ‘busi­ness hours’ sta­tions mov­ing to a 24/7 re­sponse ca­pa­bil­ity, means staff are pa­trolling/on duty at all hours of the day and night and this will give our com­mu­ni­ties more con­fi­dence that help is on hand.’’

Other south­ern com­mu­ni­ties which will now have an of­fi­cer on duty 24/7 in­clude Wanaka and Alexan­dra.

South­land District mayor Gary Tong said any in­crease in polic­ing was a good move.

But Tong warned that more po­lice were needed all over South­land.

‘‘Wher­ever po­lice aren’t is where the crim­i­nals go. They don’t re­spect po­lice bound­aries.’’

He said it would be a ‘‘big call’’ to de­cide which ru­ral sta­tion would get the ex­tra cov­er­age.

BEN CUR­RAN/FAIRFAX NZ

The South­ern District will re­ceive 37 new po­lice staff dur­ing the next four years.

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