Greater police presence promised after crime meeting

File photo/Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
A Christchurch suburb will be boosted by a sergeant and four police officers from early next year after a residents expressed concerns over increasing crime.

The additional police will be working specifically in Hoon Hay but will also serve across south Christchurch.

The boost comes after a community crime meeting in Hoon Hay on Thursday, organised by Wigram MP Megan Woods.

The meeting involved about 70 concerned residents, police and neighbourhood support representatives, who discussed crime and safety concerns.

Said Senior Sergeant Roy Appley, who was at the meeting: “I’ve made a commitment to the people that they’ll see an increase in visibility of police presence.”

He said people can expect to see more community police officers in “the high-visibility areas”. This would include parks and shopping areas and more road policing in the area.

Hoon Hay Community Association chairman Alastair Berney said he has seen residents reporting more crime, particularly vehicle break-ins recently.

Senior Sergeant Appley said these issues were not raised in great detail at the meeting and the discussion was more on how anti-social youth behaviour can be addressed effectively.

He said there is a general commitment in the area to find “community-based solutions around problem youth.”

“We’re not talking about too many people, we’re talking about quite a small minority of people but those people are quite visible and seem to be disorderly more than anything," Senior Sergeant Appley said.

"And it seems to be affecting the community and they're perceiving that there’s an element of unsafeness because of their high visibility.”

He said he hopes increasing police patrols in Hoon Hay, combined with community initiatives to support troubled youth, will reduce anti-social behaviour.

Senior Sergeant Appley said about 12 people at the meeting also agreed to help community patrol groups.

 

 

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