Patrol needs helpers

Dunedin South Community Patrol member Ian Corry (left), chairwoman Sheree Mason and Southern region district representative Tubby Hopkins are  three of 23 volunteers who play a crucial role in helping keep the community safe. Photo by Samantha McPherson.
Dunedin South Community Patrol member Ian Corry (left), chairwoman Sheree Mason and Southern region district representative Tubby Hopkins are three of 23 volunteers who play a crucial role in helping keep the community safe. Photo by Samantha McPherson.

The Dunedin South Community Patrol has been ''the eyes and ears'' helping the police for the past 12 years.

And the team of 23 patrollers is on the lookout for more members to help in its bid to keep the community safe.

Southern region district representative and founding member of the South Dunedin patrol Tubby Hopkins is encouraging people to give something back to the community by joining the patrol.

''We are not there to get criminals or anything like that. It's the fact that we are visible in the area. It's the presence. But we need more members so we can continue our work,'' he said.

A team of four patrols the streets of South Dunedin and wherever it is needed from 9pm to 1am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Patrollers are rostered on to shifts each month.

North Dunedin and Mosgiel also have community patrols.

Ian Corry, who has been part of the patrol for 11 years, said community patrols were ''very important''.

''We are not out here for the crime. We want the good people to feel safe in their community,'' Mr Corry said.

The team had often observed activity which later led to arrests, including cases of drink-driving.

''You might get a call about something that turns out to be nothing when you arrive. That means the police can be released to do other things and don't have to stop what they are doing to attend to the call because we can do it,'' he said.

Community patrolling was not ''fraught with danger'', Mr Corry said.

''The police know our level of training and they don't ask us to do anything that would put us in danger. This isn't fraught with danger. Personal safety is our No 1 priority. You are never off patrol. You are more aware of what is going on,'' he said.

For information on joining the Dunedin South, Dunedin North or Mosgiel Community Patrols, visit www.cpnz.org.nz.

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