Patrols ‘going very well’

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Oamaru police dealt with at least eight incidents relating to drunkenness over the weekend.

However, Waitaki Community Patrol chairman Brian Dark said behaviour this year has generally been good.

Mr Dark said the year had got off to a good start for the group, which helps the police on Friday and Saturday nights by patrolling in vehicles.

“We feel it’s going very well.”

The patrol has definitely made a bit of a difference in keeping people safe, he said.

The public had been positive towards them and they were becoming more known in the community, especially given their new patrol vehicle, he said.

“We’re getting a very good reaction from the public.”

The group had raised enough money for the vehicle, which was safer and increased visibility, in July last year, he said.

“We’re thrilled to bits with that.”

Last weekend was busy for the patrol because there were more people around at night but they did not come across any problems, he said.

“There weren’t any issues as far as we were concerned.”

Senior Sergeant Jason McCoy, of Oamaru, said the Alexandra-based police rural drink drive team had come east for the weekend as it covered the whole Otago region.

There was no particular reason for it coming this weekend but the team patrolled North Otago periodically, he said.

“They look after the whole district in relation to drink-driving.”

The team, which is made up of a sergeant and four constables, patrols in North Otago about once a month.

Two people were processed for drink-driving and several others were arrested for disorderly behaviour, intoxication and resisting police, he said.

By Ruby Harfield