Mangawhai residents celebrated the launch of a community patrol on August 30.
Co-organisers Trevor Downey and Wayne Price have been working to get the patrol up and running for the last 18 months.
“There have been a number of hurdles to get here including getting all of the equipment and going through processes with the police,” Trevor says.
“We’ve had a lot of support from the community and the Rodney North Community Patrol based in Warkworth.”
Trevor says the patrol will provide extra surveillance to assist the police.
“There are more people coming into the area during the holiday period and we are experiencing more vandalism at night so our patrol will provide an extra set of eyes for the police.”
The patrol will cover Mangawhai, parts of Tomarata and Te Arai. Wellsford Police Sergeant Geoff Medland says they will be working closely with the patrol to help reduce crime.
“They can help us cover the hot spots during busy periods and build an intelligence picture in the rural areas,” Sgt Medland says.
Trevor says around 20 people are interested in joining the patrol and he would like to see about 30 volunteers when it is fully operational by Labour Weekend. He says the patrol has all the equipment it needs except for a defibrillator, which it hopes to obtain in the future.
North Rodney Blue Light donated the vehicle and Community Patrol New Zealand is helping to cover fuel costs.
Local businesses Shamrock Auto Care, Mangawhai Pharmacy, CFISigns and the women of the Hakaru and Districts RSA all contributed to the patrol.