A po­lice ra­dio to help the com­mu­nity

South Taranaki Star - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JANE MATTHEWS

The eyes and ears of the com­mu­nity now have big­ger ears and a big­ger voice too.

The Patea Com­mu­nity Pa­trol has re­cently had a po­lice ra­dio in­stalled in the pa­trol car and act­ing co-or­di­na­tor Al­lan Caple said it added a whole new di­men­sion to mon­i­tor­ing the com­mu­nity.

‘‘If some­thing has been seen in the area when the po­lice aren’t avail­able and any­thing we do see we re­port,’’ he said.

‘‘Now any­thing ur­gent, we’ll ra­dio through.’’

Caple said they had been us­ing cell phones up un­til now, but this made things a lot eas­ier.

An­drew Russ, the of­fi­cer in charge at Patea, said the com­mu­nity pa­trol of­fered an ex­tra set of eyes and ears to the town.

‘‘We’ve only got two full time po­lice of­fi­cers in Patea,’’ Russ said. ‘‘They can’t be here ev­ery minute of the day, so to be able to have these guys com­ing in and giv­ing us in­for­ma­tion, look­ing out for things, it’s a tremen­dous as­set for us to have.’’

The pa­trol, which is run by vol­un­teers, has been go­ing in Patea since September last year, and got the car in May.

Caple said they were orig­i­nally part of the Wa­ver­ley Com­mu­nity Pa­trol and are still con­nected to it.

‘‘We’re cur­rently to­gether but ul­ti­mately the idea is to sep­a­rate out and have two sep­a­rate pa­trols,’’ he said.

Caple said the pa­trol was started up to help mon­i­tor the com­mu­nity.

‘‘There’s been a few is­sues around the town in the past few years, that sort of thing,’’ he said.

The Patea Com­mu­nity Pa­trol doesn’t work at par­tic­u­lar times.

‘‘We do reg­u­lar pa­trols but we mix them up time wise at the mo­ment,’’ Caple said.

‘‘Part of the pur­pose in that is to not be a reg­u­lar thing be­cause if you go at 9pm ev­ery night peo­ple start do­ing things at 7pm.’’

Den­nis Bui­j­tendijk, the se­nior con­sta­ble based in Patea, said they have had pa­trols in Patea in the past.

‘‘This is un­der the CPNZ [Com­mu­nity Pa­trols of New Zealand] um­brella which is ob­vi­ously na­tion­wide so it has been done a lot more pro­fes­sion­ally and prop­erly,’’ Bui­j­tendijk said.

‘‘So hope­fully it will have more longevity as well.’’

Bui­j­tendijk also said they were need­ing more vol­un­teers for the pa­trols be­cause they cur­rently only have four.

If you’re in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing for the pa­trol call Al­lan Caple on 027 2772624.

Den­nis Bui­j­tendijk, An­drew Russ and Al­lan Caple see the new ra­dio as a tremen­dous as­set.

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