'Scarfie sheriffs' sought for student area

Neighbourhood Watch and the police are looking for "larger-than-life characters" to become "scarfie sheriffs" in an effort to help catch out criminals in the student quarter.

The two organisations have also been out in force marking students' property in the area as they try to make it tougher for "opportunistic thieves", who have targeted the area in the past.

Campus policeman Constable Max Holt said they would be visiting flats in the student quarter after the Easter break looking out for "larger-than-life" characters who were keen to become so called "scarfie sheriffs".

The sheriffs' roles would be to act as a point of contact for students who noticed suspicious behaviour in the area, Const Holt said. Police would also be able to contact the sheriffs when issues arose.

"Our interest is to get some eyes and ears on the street and catch the information that we are probably missing."

While they were out visiting flats they would also be taking student's cellphone numbers so they could text students when there were burglaries or other crimes in the area.

They were also educating students about locking doors and keeping valuables secure.

Otago Neighbourhood Support regional co-ordinator Sarah Hexamer said the scarfie sheriff idea was about reducing crime in the area and not about "dobbing in" other students.

"It's sort of using the Neighbourhood Support concept and adapting it to what students like ... and making it fun."

Ideally, they would like at least one "scarfie sheriff" for every street in the student quarter.

Anyone interested taking up a sheriff role could call Neighbourhood Support on 473-681 or send an email to admin@ons.org.nz


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