Community Cooperation

The following was published in Hibiscus Coast Matters on 5 June 2013.

Community cooperation

with Inspector Scott Webb, Orewa Police

To quote Sir Robert Peel’s 1829 Principles of Law Enforcement: “The Police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the intent of the community welfare and safety.”

In other words, we cannot keep our communities safe without the help of the public.  In my view, this principle is just as relevant today as it was in 1829. Two examples that demonstrate this well are Crime Stoppers and Community Patrols NZ (CPNZ). On the Coast we receive some excellent information via Crime Stoppers, but there could also be more and I support and encourage anyone to call with any information.  Crime Stoppers is independent of police and provides a free calling line where anybody can report any crime related information. All calls are anonymous.
Crime Stoppers in NZ uses the UK Crime stoppers Call Centre located in London. A call from NZ, using the 0800 555 111 number, is handled in a seamless manner and police receive the information without undue delays. Any information provided anonymously is immediately transferred onto a template, removing any of the caller’s identifiers, which they may have provided inadvertently, and then transmitted to the Police Crime Reporting Line in Auckland. The great aspect of having the Call Centre in the UK is that the 20,000km distance increases the anonymity factor. As we know, New Zealand is a very small country and people are very conscious of that fact. Anyone who calls with information can be confident that by ringing a call centre 20,000 km away, it is highly unlikely, bordering on impossible, that they will be recognised.

CPNZ is another organisation that operates independent of police, but provides a supporting role that fits well into the operating strategy of Prevention First. You may have seen the community patrollers, usually in the wee hours of the morning or at community events providing an ‘eyes and ears’ service. I have the utmost admiration for this keen group of dedicated volunteers. There are currently four groups across Rodney, including teams in Orewa and Whangaparaoa. Rodney Police were proud to be part of the launch of a new CPNZ vehicle for the Orewa group recently. Thanks to those CPNZ volunteers who assist police and other groups striving to keep the Coast safe.

Published 5 June 2013


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