Community constable for Clinton
MARY-JO TOHILL Clinton has a new community constable.
After nearly a year without a permanent police officer, Constable Andrew Denny will be resident in the town from this month. And he can’t wait. Following the departure of former policeman Richard Whitmore in June, Denny, 48, relieved at the Clinton station for about four months.
‘‘I really enjoyed it. I made contacts. It made me realise that the community really wants a police presence.’’
Tensions in Clinton had been noted in the past year, and it would give people peace of mind to have a police officer in the town once more, he said.
‘‘It’s going to be great to be part of the community.’’
Clutha-Taieri area commander Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley said Denny was already familiar with the town, and the various community groups and Clinton Primary School.
With Clinton and the police station situated at the intersection between two highways Old Coach Rd and State Highway 1, he would also play a key role in keeping the roads safe, she said.
Originally from Small Heath in south-east Birmingham in the United Kingdom, he has been with Balclutha police for 12 years.
Denny and wife Sam and their daughter Carys moved to New Zealand in 2006, as part of a government police recruitment drive in search of a better life.
‘‘I wanted a safe place to bring up my daughter.’’
He had intended serving in the Counties Manukau police district, but under the immigration points system that gave people an extra 10 points for living outside Auckland, a South Island posting was a better option. He was offered Balclutha and decided to take it.
‘‘The best ever decision I’ve made in my life,’’ he said.
He has loved the change from urban to more rural policing.
‘‘There’s jobs [in rural communities] that are not necessarily police issues but that you would do for the community’s sake.’’
He likes how small communities can work together to help prevent and solve crimes, and is also looking forward to being self-reliant.
‘‘It’s a chance to have your patch and make the job your own.’’
Clinton’s new community constable Andy Denny.