Scooter pa­trol­man keeps sub­urb safe


Pa­trolling the streets and al­ley­ways of his neigh­bour­hood on scooter, De­clan Cur­ran finds he is part se­cu­rity of­fi­cer, part on­call first aider and part rub­bish re­moval­ist.

On his daily sweeps of Unsworth Heights, Cur­ran knows if some­thing is amiss in the com­mu­nity he has lived in since the mid-1980s.

‘‘I have an in­stinct for know­ing when some­thing is not right,’’ Cur­ran said.

Just days af­ter he started his pa­trols in Au­gust, Cur­ran lo­cated a stolen car. He has also warned of tool thieves, helped pre­vent plant thefts from the local re­serve, scared off tag­gers in the SH18 tun­nel, pro­vided coun­sel to a dis­traught teen and di­rec­tions to peo­ple lost in the area.

Armed with a first-aid kit and on an elec­tric scooter that can get him to steep or hard to reach lo­ca­tions, Cur­ran tells his neigh­bours to get in con­tact and he can be any­where in the local area within 10 min­utes to help out should they be away from home and in need of ba­sic first-aid.

Cur­ran also acts as a one-man clean-up crew, tak­ing care of lit­ter on his street and bro­ken fo­liage af­ter stormy weather.

Some­times Cur­ran of­fers a friendly warn­ing to those dis­rupt­ing the neigh­bour­hood, other times he in­volves the police, if the sit­u­a­tion calls for it. He never com­pro­mises his own safety.

‘‘It is sur­pris­ing how many peo­ple are fright­ened to get in­volved or don’t know what to do,’’ Cur­ran said.

‘‘I am care­ful that I am not in­trud­ing on what could be very le­git­i­mate ac­tiv­ity. But, a sim­ple in­ter­ven­tion can stop a trade wind from be­com­ing a hur­ri­cane.’’ Safety is as im­por­tant as se­cu­rity to Cur­ran, so he also logs street lights that aren’t work­ing or dam­age to pub­lic walk­ways with Auck­land Coun­cil.

Police en­cour­age every­one in our com­mu­nity to get to know your neigh­bours, look out for them and also be vig­i­lant within their com­mu­ni­ties, a police spokesper­son said. ‘‘If any­one no­tices a crime tak­ing place, we urge them to con­tact Police and call 111 im­me­di­ately. We don’t want any­one plac­ing them­selves in sit­u­a­tions that could po­ten­tially be dan­ger­ous to them­selves and would rather they call the Police to deal with any se­ri­ous mat­ters.’’


De­clan Cur­ran keeps his North Shore sub­urb of Unsworth Heights safe and se­cure on his daily pa­trols of the area on scooter.

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