New vehicle for patrollers

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Oamaru streets have just become a little bit safer, with the purchase of a new vehicle for Waitaki’s Community Patrol group.

The group, which assists the Oamaru Police on Friday and Saturday nights by patrolling the community in vehicles, raised $7500 for its new vehicle, which was used for the first time last Saturday.

Community Patrol member Roger Routledge said the new vehicle was “brilliant”, safer and more efficient.

It was a “huge improvement” from the other vehicle, which was a lot older, he said.

Oamaru Police Senior Sergeant Jason McCoy said the new vehicle, with its increased visibility, would be a great help in assisting police in crime prevention.

“They’re an asset, in reality an extra pair of eyes and ears in the community.”

The volunteer group has often been confused with the Waitaki Guardians, who patrol the community on foot and are funded by the Waitaki District Council.

Waitaki’s Community Patrol also provides administration assistance to the police during break times.

They currently have about 14 volunteers but are always wanting more people to help make the community safe at night.

Anyone wanting to join can email brian.dark@xtra.co.nz.

By RUBY HARFIELD

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD

NEW WHEELS: Oamaru Police Senior Sergeant Jason McCoy and Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher with Community Patrol members Roger Routledge (left) and Brian Dark.