Armed robbery prompts call for Halswell police station

Armadillo's restaurant in Halswell.  Photo: Geoff Sloan
Armadillo's restaurant in Halswell. Photo: Geoff Sloan
An armed robbery - and a booming population - has caused a resident in a Christchurch suburb to call for their own police station.

Halswell man John Alexander was working nearby when Armadillo’s Restaurant in Ensign St was held up by a man with a shotgun last week.

Learning of the incident from Armadillo’s staff who left the building soon after the robbery, a thought sprang to mind.

“I thought to myself: ‘We need a police presence’,” he said.

Census data from 2018 showed 29,643 people lived within the Halswell Ward boundary.

His subsequent post on the issue to the Halswell Community Group Facebook page received a flurry of comments.

He was concerned the lack of a police officer stationed in the area meant there was no deterrent factor to prevent local crime.

Crime seemed to be getting worse in the area since the earthquakes, with the growing population one of the factors, he said.

Crime is not taken as seriously as it was 10 years ago, he said.

While police did the best job they could, their scope was limited by politics, he said.

Armadillo’s did not respond to a request for comment on the issue.

Halswell Convenience Store owner Brian Jackson has dealt with robberies in his shop, most recently in June.

However, he did not think Halswell needs a police officer stationed in the area, saying the area was well serviced by the Hornby police station, just 7min from his Lillian St store.

“Hornby is a centralised place.

“The police response was really good both times, 111 is a tremendous service really.”

However, he could see the situation changing as the population increased.

“I think in 10 years’ time it might be different with all the new housing going in.”

City councillor for the ward Anne Galloway said it was her experience that police in Hornby were very responsive.

“I think there is no need for a police station in Halswell,” she said.

But Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board member Andrei Moore, who lives in the area, said Halswell requires a bigger police presence, especially into the future.

He also encouraged people to join the Hornby Community Patrol, which encompassed the area and which was in need of more volunteers to operate more effectively.

Acting Metro Commander Inspector Glenn Nalder said Haswell was not experiencing a rise in crime.

“The police deployment model has staff in locations based on the number of incidents and seriousness of offending."

The model was based on the current situation, he said.

“If we get a sense that Halswell is experiencing a rise in crime then we will adjust our prevention patrol plan accordingly.”



Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter