Community Patrols of New Zealand was formed in 2001 to establish and promote a collaborative working relationship with Police and provide resources, support and guidance to affiliated local community patrol groups. A memorandum of understanding was originally signed with Police in 2002 and renewed in 2006 and 2012.
Working together throughout New Zealand to reduce crime and build safer communities.
What is a community patrol?
A community patrol is a voluntary group of people giving some of their time and taking responsibility within their own community to help the Police make their community a safer environment in which to live. Any citizen who has a caring attitude to their community may offer their services.
Community patrols may have links to local Councils and organisations sharing a similar interest in community safety but it is important community patrols remain autonomous and are managed by a committee of their members. Members meet regularly for training and to discuss issues and opportunities.
Local patrols are encouraged to affiliate with Community Patrols of New Zealand. A condition of affiliation to Community Patrols of New Zealand is that the patrol has the support and confidence of the Police and has a police liaison officer allocated to work with it.
Community patrollers act as ‘eyes and ears’ for police. Patrolling their community in pairs, patrollers note anything that could be suspicious and inform police immediately of incidents requiring urgent attention. Some patrols have a very high profile in their community with a sign-written car, while others prefer to stay covert or drive their own car. Patrollers usually patrol once a month.
Applicants are vetted by the Police before becoming patrol members and must complete a period of training (usually three months) where they work with senior patrollers.
Police notify the patrol of suspicious activities and trouble spots they would like the patrol to keep an eye on, as well as informing the patrol of events occurring in the area. Each member must sign a declaration of confidentiality and agree to abide by a code of conduct before working with the patrol.