Waihi Beach community patrol gains funding boost

Waihi Beach Community Patol members Rhys Pearson and Allan Sole are looking forward to replacing the old Terios with a new vehicle. Image: Western Bay of Plenty District Council website.

Funding for a replacement vehicle through Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s community grants has thrilled the Waihi Beach Community Patrol Group.

Council has granted $10,000 from this year’s Community Matching Fund to replace the group’s current vehicle, a Daihatsu Terios, which is nearing the end of its useful life.

Treasurer Rhys Pearson says a younger vehicle will help save the rising costs of the old vehicle which has served the group well for several years and was originally donated by TrustPower.

“Community Patrol is an integral part of Waihi Beach, serving as the eyes and ears of for local police and for the residents,” says Rhys.

“The vehicle is our greatest asset for group members – it enables us to patrol the community regularly and, in peak summer season, we are extremely busy ensuring that all holiday makers are kept safer, that properties are secure and that when we see anything out of the ordinary happening we can report it to the police.”

Local Constable Harley North supported the group’s application for a community matching fund grant, saying the group provides valuable additional safety and security to residents at the Beach, including Athenree and Bowentown.

“The patrol has a very close relationship with local police through guidance, training and operational effectiveness. A marked, overt vehicle with the group’s official signage is a primary crime fighting tool of an effective community patrol,” says Harley.

The group performs a range of activities including:

Support for police.

Regular patrolling day and night of residential and business areas.

Security and crowd control at community events.

Helping find missing people.

Ensuring safety at accident sites.

Support in civil defence incidents.

Serving as a visible deterrent for criminal activity.

Assisting police in surveillance of crime scenes.

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