“Everybody has the right to be safe and feel safe. Don't feel like you're bothering us, you're not. Ring the police 111.”
This was the clear message from Inspector Steve Greally, Nelson Bays area commander, at the Neighbourhood Support Nelson meeting at Broadgreen Intermediate Hall on Saturday.
A panel of representatives from the community police team answered questions from the public mostly related to safety and disturbances.
Senior Constable Keith Jordan said if the public had any concerns at all such as unacceptable noise at parties or broken glass in public parks after parties, then it was necessary to speak out about it as that was how action was initiated.
“It is OK,” he said. “Someone needs to initiate these thoughts in the community.”
Inspector Greally said things were improving with increased police presence and he reinforced the power of the community.
“You have a right to vote and voice your concerns,” he said.
“Look at Victory Square and what happened there with the pokies.”
Nelson city resident Judy Crowe said she thought feeling safe in the community also reflected our individual attitudes and people should not feel fearful of going places.
She said while she was aware of potential dangers, she refused to be defeated by fear.
“I refuse to say I can't go places,” she said.
“I take ownership. This is our place.”
In response to questions about improving safety in the CBD, the police said they were working closely with the Nelson City Council, which had already spent $100,000 on improving lighting in Bridge St and had installed CTV cameras in the carparks.
The police said it was a small number of individuals who caused trouble.
Further ideas in the pipeline on improving the safety of carparks include possibly centralising all the facilities such as taxi stands, late-night bus stop and toilets.
Carparks were safe if people did not go looking for trouble, Senior Constable Peter Crins said. ‘They are unsafe if you do go looking for trouble."
Representatives from the Christchurch Communication Centre (111) team had a working display with 111 simulations.
A display was set up with information on the police and crime prevention and a cross-section of agencies including Crime Stoppers, the Privacy Commission, ACC and Civil Defence.
The meeting was to celebrate five years since the police handed the operation of neighbourhood support to a community co-ordinator and committee.
It was organised by Neighbourhood Support Nelson co-ordinator Kim MacDonald who co-ordinates the 386 registered neighbourhood support groups in Nelson.
She thought about 200 people showed up.
“I was really pleased with the turnout,” she said.
“I really want to value the volunteers.”
Numerous street contacts attended including Lynn Cadenhead, representing the historic precinct around Elliot St.
“I thought it was very well organised and it was interesting,” she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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