A spate of thefts across orchards, cropping land and small farms and a wish to safeguard homes has prompted those living in coastal communities into action.
This week the Cape Coast Community Patrol was launched to serve Clive, Haumoana, Te Awanga, Clifton, Mangateretere and Whakatu which has a combined population of about 5000 people.
The group's chairman Don Sorensen was asked to help set up a community patrol for Clive almost a year ago. A series of meetings followed and the Cape Coast Charitable Trust was formed and affiliated to the National Community Patrols of New Zealand in August. "Our aim is to recruit at least 60 volunteers so that we can send two people out on patrol each day of the month," Mr Sorensen said at Monday's launch in Clive. "We would like to see husband and wife or partner teams. Each patrol member is required to patrol at least once a month."
A total of 17 signs have gone up around the coastal communities to let people know where the patrols would be operating.
The patrol along with its police liaison officer Alan Daly, will be at the Haumoana Market Day on Sunday, November 4, with an information stand looking to recruit more volunteers. "Between the villages there are orchards, cropping land and small farms that have experienced thefts of equipment and farm machinery," Mr Sorensen said.
"Our vision is to help stop crime in our area, to have a community that looks after one another."
The patrol also wanted to have its own accommodation, office and vehicle storage and was looking for sponsorship. Mr Daly said every so often a spike in crime might be recorded and the patrol would help police keep an eye on activity throughout the five towns. "During those spikes people become more aware of the requirements to be visual and we want to extend this beyond those peak times. The patrol will be contributing towards limiting offending in our areas."
At the launch Hawke's Bay District Police Inspector Tania Kuru presented volunteers with their community patrol badges. Anyone wanting to become a patrol volunteer can contact Mr Daly at the Clive police station on 8700 250 or mobile, 0274504770.