What a ride 2020 gave us! In my 15 years in policing, I have never seen the job change so fast as we quickly adapted to lockdowns, face masks and taking on a new angle of keeping our community safe – this time from Covid 19. Just as we got through the first lockdown, police were hit with the most devastating news of all – that our colleague,
Constable Matthew Hunt, had his life cruelly taken from him while he served our community in Massey. We continue to feel his loss hard in Rodney where he spent the majority of his police career. Not a day goes by that we don’t speak of Matt or think of him. He exemplified our police values and we miss him dearly. To his mother, Diane, and sister Ellie, we were all thinking of you this Christmas.
One thing that I have taken from 2020 is how resilient, kind, caring and remarkable the community of Warkworth really is. We leaned heavily on the community to help us out with Covid restrictions and the regional lockdown, and you did not let us down.
We are now into a high-risk period for crime types such as burglary and car break-ins. We urge you to please ensure you keep your own property safe by locking windows and doors. Most importantly, please keep an eye out for your neighbours, especially if they are away over the holiday period. Sadly, not everyone has the Christmas spirit and they will target addresses where it looks like no one is home. If you notice any suspicious activity then do not hesitate to call 111. Try and get as much information as possible about the suspicious person or vehicle if it is safe to do. Covid 19 has shown us how well we can do when we work as a team, so let’s continue that theme over the summer period and look out for one another.
Lastly, if everyone follows the rules and takes personal responsibility for their driving behaviour then I am certain we can all get to our destinations safely. Please, follow the speed limits, put down your phone, make sure you are rested, seatbelts are on, tamariki are in their car seats and never drive while under the influence of any alcohol or drugs.
The reality is every serious crash is preventable. Police and our partners are doing our bit to keep our roads safe, and we will be highly visible this summer season. We ask that you do your part and drive safely. Happy New Year and stay safe.
By Sgt Mark Stallworthy,
Officer In Charge, Warkworth Police