Wardens start patrolling to a Pacific beat
Tuesday, 24 November 2009, 12:31 pm
Pacific Wardens are on the beat in Waitakere.
Waitakere City Council, Waitakere Police and the Waitakere Pacific Wardens Trust recently launched the initiative at the Pacific in the Park event in Massey – where wardens were on duty for the first time.
The wardens’ role is to support local police and the council’s community safety initiatives to provide reassurance and an ambassadorial role to deter public violence, vehicle crime, graffiti and vandalism. At times they will be required to patrol problem hotspots, as directed by police and the council via its Safe Waitakere unit.
“The wardens are our eyes and ears in the community,” says Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, who chairs the Crime Prevention Reference Group.
“We already support other groups doing similar work and now with their Pacific colleagues coming on board, Waitakere has an extremely valuable resource in the push to deter crime and antisocial behaviour in our city.”
The council has a funding agreement with the Waitakere Pacific Wardens Trust to provide this service, and there are now 15 trained and police-approved people ready to do the job.
The wardens’ role involves listening to the concerns of residents, visitors and the business community during patrols and reporting important issues back to the council.
“For young Pacific people, talking with someone of their own culture may just make the difference and be the support they need to make good choices,” says Cr Hulse.
The programme has been welcomed by Waitemata Police District.
“We are very supportive of programmes like this that involve people in the community working together, with support of the local council and police,” says Waitemata Police District’s Maori and Pacific Ethnic Services advisor, Senior Sergeant Richard Kapa.
The Crime Prevention Reference Group agencies are working together to keep our city safe and includes Police, Neighbourhood Support Waitakere, Victim Support, Corrections, Child Youth and Family, Ministry of Justice, Westfono Pacific Healthcare and Tag Out Trust.