Police seek help

Police are seeking volunteers to provide counter service at the Port Chalmers and Mosgiel police stations.

Clutha-Taieri area response manager Senior Sergeant Al Dickie said as staff numbers at Port Chalmers were recently reduced from two to one, police were investigating how to provide a better counter service at the station.

''It's a stopgap to provide some better service to the public when they want to talk to someone about policing issues.''

Senior Constable Steve Tvrdeic, of Port Chalmers, had to regularly leave the station to police over a wide area, including Waitati, and was unable to provide an acceptable counter service, Snr Sgt Dickie said.

Snr Const Tvrdeic had found it difficult to provide the level of presence expected by the community even under previous higher levels of staffing, Staff numbers had been cut because crime levels were much lower, Snr Sgt Dickie said.

''It doesn't justify that level of police.''

The volunteers, who would not be paid, would man the Port Chalmers station counter. Duties would include taking messages and recording lost and found reports.

The messages and public concerns would be conveyed to Snr Const Tvrdeic by radio, cellphone or upon his return to the station, Snr Sgt Dickie said.

The service was particularly important during the cruise ship season when numbers in Port Chalmers ''swelled'', he said.

It was the first time there had been a request for volunteers in Dunedin, but Oamaru station used volunteers behind the counter at lunchtimes, he said.

Volunteers would be vetted and those selected would be trained.

Anyone interested should call Snr Sgt Dickie or Sergeant Kevin Davidson, of Mosgiel, on 489-3534, or Snr Const Tvrdeic on 472-8822.

Snr Sgt Dickie said anyone wanting to report a crime, such as a burglary, theft or non-urgent historic crime, could call the crime reporting line, 0800 426-7736.

- shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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