Probation centre 'threat to good community'

17:00, May 04 2010

Opponents of a planned Christchurch probation centre say it would threaten their community.

Christchurch City Council-appointed commissioner David Kirkpatrick heard from Waltham residents and Department of Corrections staff at a one-day hearing yesterday to decide whether the council should review the Ensors Rd centre's resource consent.

Move Over Probation (MOP) group chairwoman Vivienne Yeki told Kirkpatrick that Corrections staff had misled residents and the council about the size of the centre.

"These people are not regular people and this centre is not a regular centre – it's huge."

She said the centre would be close to several schools and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

"All of these young people have to come and go across this frontage to get to school, and it's not safe."

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Residents near other probation centres had seen clients using drugs, and they could commit serious crimes while in the area, she said.

The area had a "good community", which the centre would threaten.

Community Probation Services general manager Katrina Casey said the Corrections Department did not accept MOP's claims.

However, she said she would not comment while the matter was being considered by the commissioner.

Kirkpatrick said he would make a decision in the next few days.

The Press