Cop-out leaves pupils dispirited

Dunedin primary school pupils have been left disappointed after a police-organised trip to the Central Otago Rail Trail was scrapped at the last minute because of a lack of funding.

Dozens of Bathgate Park School pupils have been going to school at 7am, twice a week for the past eight weeks, to take part in the Rangatahi Fitness Leadership Programme.

The initiative is a programme for year 7 and 8 pupils that aims to build positive relationships with police through physical training and mentoring.

But one parent said police had dropped the ball by promising pupils a trip to the rail trail, and then cancelling on the final day of the programme.

Tania Petrie said her son was "really disappointed".

"He was really excited."

She thought the programme itself was good and should continue.

"I just don’t think they should have dangled this big promise and then pulled out."

Programme co-ordinator Senior Constable Toni Wall said this year’s programme had been a "huge success", with four schools and about 50 pupils taking part.

"Unfortunately, a three-day trip planned for the end of the programme has had to be cancelled this year due to a lack of available funding.

"Police apologise for any miscommunication in parents being informed of this."

The programme was funded by the Blue Light charity, not New Zealand Police, she said.

"Police are sincerely disappointed that the trip has not been able to take place this year. However, this year’s programme has been hugely rewarding for the officers involved and we hope for the tamariki involved too."

The programme would continue next year, and police would be looking into fundraising and sponsorship options for programme activities, she said.

Bathgate Park School principal Katrina Robertson said she was "saddened" by the cancellation.

"It was a nice way to tie up and have a link to the learning that had happened through the school setting.

"It is disappointing to hear the funding wasn’t available."


I'm not being negative here & I'm a big supporter of the Police BUT whether this is funded by a charity or not - this is not a role of the Police.
Us mere mortals cannot get the police to respond to our emergencies and there are no cops on our highways when you report serious bad driving.
I am told that too many police numbers are allocated to specialist "squads" and not general response units. Again while these squads play a role and the key is on prevention - I don't feel safe at times and far too many times I have dialed 111 only for the Police to be only interested in who I am & have no intention of responding to my incident.
Sorry kids BUT ask your teacher what the job of the Police is.

The kids don't need to ask anything. Whoever responsible adults are, they should not promise and fail to deliver.

The Blue Light programme has been established since the late 1970's.

Fund raising should have been done and dusted before the programme was implemented. Someone has seriously dropped the ball on this one. A promise of a trip should not have been made in the first place if the funding wasn't already put aside.
Sadly, another life lesson for the kids though........promises will get broken by those you would least expect to break them.

Too busy taking rabbit and deer rifles from law abiding firearms holders. Neighbour went to a collection point last week, he said it was only him plus one other old guy there and they counted THIRTEEN police staff. WTF!

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