by Helen Martin
In November, a coffee and a chat session, hosted by Community Constable Melissa Haven and Youth Aid Officer Lou Unkovich, was held at Te Awaroa Café to give locals a chance to meet with Helensville Police Officers, South Kaipara Community Patrol and Rodney Neighbourhood Support andbring up any concerns they may have about community issues.
The Police shared important information regarding their contact numbers. The emergency phone number is still 111. For non-emergencies, people are asked to call 105 or go online to 105.police.govt.nz. Non-emergency reports include theft in a public place, theft from a car, intentional property damage, shoplifting and lost property. The site also provides information on reports already made.
Paul Smith, who has been volunteering with South Kaipara Community Patrol for eight years, explained that the job of the volunteers is to regularly patrol their designated area, establishing community awareness of their presence and reporting anything suspicious. As ‘the eyes and ears of the police’, patrols free up Police resources, increase community resilience and identify safety issues. As locals are all too aware, since the South Kaipara Community Patrol has been in operation Helensville’s graffiti problem has all but vanished. The Patrol, which is led by John Tarrant, is keen to sign up more volunteers. The minimum requirement is one patrol a month.
Neighbourhood Support is a nationwide community-led movement that works closely alongside the Police and brings people and neighbourhoods together to create, safe, resilient and connected communities. Rodney Neighbourhood Support coordinator MargaretFaedexplained that members are kept up with news via email and was keen to sign up new members to join the 5,500 households who already belong.
by Helen Martin