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Support for neighbourhood group

By Rachel Taylor, Otago Daily Times
14 May 2010

Combating Kaitangata's negative image took another step forward on Wednesday, with the first meeting of the Kaitangata neighbourhood support group.

The group was initiated by Kaitangata community constable Tom Taylor, who was "testing the waters" to see if there was any community interest in forming the group.

Police met with Kaitangata locals on Wednesday night in the Kaitangata Community Centre.

Const Taylor said he was impressed with the attitude of the people who turned up to the meeting.

A number of people who had "a guts-full of negative stereotyping of Kaitangata" came to the meeting, and put their names forward to be a street contact person, he said.

"If we get similar people on board, we can turn the image of Kaitangata around."

Const Taylor said while police were there to do a job, it was important for people realise it was also their responsibility to look after themselves.

Neighbourhood support works by dividing towns into areas, with each area nominating a contact person to liaise with police.

Police will conduct a mail-drop next week, and further meetings will teach people in the community about how to spot crime and what type of information to record.

It was about making people more aware of crime and what to look for, Const Taylor said.

Police are also hoping the neighbourhood support system will help identify the areas of concern in Kaitangata, and will look at installing covert surveillance cameras in those areas.

"We are hoping people will have an improved perception of Kaitangata, by problems being minimised due to co-operation between the neighbours".


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