Cashless community patrol draws on its own resources

The Wanaka Community Patrol might not yet have a dedicated car or funding for fuel, but it does have 20 keen volunteers, various radios and phones, a Soviet-era night-vision device and use of a drone.

The newly formed group hits the roads and streets of the Upper Clutha for the first time on Friday night.

But chairman Steve Worley says because they are so new, they have yet to receive responses to their applications to various funding agencies.

That means patrollers will use Mr Worley's own car, with patrol members paying for fuel themselves.

''We are asking for quite a bit of money so when you are going to trusts ... things don't happen very quickly.

''So we are all putting our hands in our pockets and we are funding ourselves as much as we possibly can.''

Mr Worley said members of the patrol were working towards having a dedicated vehicle based at the Wanaka police station but were keen on ''getting out there and making a difference'' by supporting the police.

''It would make such a difference if we had a few dollars to help us along.''

The first patrols will run in Wanaka through the weekend from about 9pm until 3am.

Eventually, the hours are likely to be extended and the area covered increased to take in all of the Upper Clutha between Makarora, Cardrona and Queensberry.

The national organisation's aim is to attain a level of professionalism similar to that of St John and volunteer fire brigades, Mr Worley said.

Mr Worley, who owns a Wanaka photographic business, has provided the group with the use of a night-vision device he picked up in Russia in the 1980s.

He also has a drone with a camera attached and hopes to equip it with a ''night image intensifier'' in the next couple of weeks.

The first patrol will consist of Mr Worley and Wanaka resident Paul Tamati, assisted by Senior Constable Mike Thomas.

mark.price@odt.co.nz