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Businesses look to community-based patrol to address crime

The Raglan Surf Co is the third local business to come under the attack of a ram-raid/theft in the Raglan CBD this year. The local surf shop was hit last Tuesday 22 May at 3am. After reviewing CCTV footage, Police confirmed that the vehicle used in the ram-raid was one of four vehicles stolen from Huntly late Monday night (May 21).

The current string of burglaries started in February with FallenFront, who was hit three times in a row, followed by the Surf Emporium at the beginning of May.

Business owners and community members are pushing authorities for an immediate solution to the late night crime.

“There are not enough prevention methods in place to keep this from happening. Unfortunately, Police do not have the resources to adequately support the community at this time, but something has to be done” said Karamea Puriri, Administrator for the Raglan Chamber of Commerce.

The Raglan Chamber has been in contact with MP Barbara Kuriger who will be supporting the community, Chamber and Council to explore a viable solution.

A few days after last week’s ram-raid, Surf Co Director Luke Hughes met with The Raglan Community Patrol’s Narina Hurst to gain a better understanding of how the Community Patrol operates and how the community can better support them in the work that they do.

“If the authorities are not able to give us the support we need, then we as a community need to step up and do it ourselves,” stated Luke.

“There are only 14 volunteers on the Community Patrol. There are a few younger volunteers (aged 50-60), but it’s mostly retirees or senior citizens on the job. And realistically, they don’t have the manpower to be driving around in the middle of the night.”

The Community Patrol is not a security service, but a volunteer operation, that liaises directly with the Police. Narina would love to see more younger and able volunteers signup and show their support for the community.

More volunteers would mean more nights and longer times on the street, which would help provide a deterrent to potential disturbances.

The Community Patrol operates in pairs and patrols the CBD, surf beaches, the wharf, Bridal Veil falls and car parks. With a Police radio in the volunteer car, they are able to directly communicate any issues they come across, but they do not get involved.

Formerly called the Raglan Night Owls, The Raglan Community Patrol is affiliated with the National Community Patrols of NZ and volunteers must go through a Police vetting and have a time of initiation and training.

Raglan Chronicle

If you are interested in becoming a Community Patrol volunteer, contact Narina Hurst on 07 825 8473.