Good neighbours encouraged

We must work together to keep our streets safe - that was the message Neighbourhood Support street contacts from around Dunedin city heard this week, and they could not have agreed more.

About 50 contacts from Dunedin and Mosgiel residents' groups met Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin at the Municipal Chambers.

Mr Chin thanked the street contacts for their work liaising with the groups and Neighbourhood Support co-ordinators to raise awareness of issues such as home security, crime and civil defence plans.

"The efforts of volunteers, in conjunction with the police and councils, make communities safer. This is becoming an increasingly important issue nationally in the context of recent violent crimes," he said.

The smallest residents group comprised four households, and the largest about 95 households.

Gladstone Rd resident Vera Crozier once called police after "a group of well-dressed men" stopped to ask directions. Police informed her they were "high-powered" burglars, and she may have prevented a burglary.

Beth Mitchell said Shetland St (where she lived) typified the "changing face of Neighbourhood Support", as more people with young families were moving in to the area and becoming involved with the group.

Leary St resident John Bradley said neighbours in his street also "checked up on people with health concerns" and shared information about home security. He had also been called upon to remove a rat from a neighbour's kitchen.

Neighbourhood Support regional co-ordinator Sarah Hexamer encouraged residents to work together to ensure the city maintained its reputation as a safe place compared with other New Zealand cities.

Dunedin City Council civil defence manager Neil Brown and community adviser Paul Coffey spoke about increasing dissemination of Civil Defence information.

Community Constables from North and South Dunedin also attended.

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