A Connection and Safety Hui with local Police has got Amberley residents talking.
Hurunui District Council’s Together Hurunui facilitator Natalie Paterson said the aim of the hui was to bring together concerned residents, Council officers, North Canterbury Neighbourhood Support (NCNS) and local Police to share information and build connections.
“The hui came out of discussions with members of our community who were concerned about perceptions of rising youth crime. We wanted to create an opportunity for people to speak to Police and NCNS, and voice their concerns,” Paterson says.
A “good cross-section” of South Ward residents attended the hui, held in Council Chambers in Amberley last week.
“We know we have great young people in our communities who contribute every day to the betterment of the district, and I think it was valuable to have Police back that up with statistics that show youth offending is coming from outside the district,” Paterson said.
Paterson said Hurunui Youth Programme presented to the hui on the activities and volunteering young people are undertaking around the district.
Mayor Marie Black praised the work of Hurunui Youth. “Our young people have unlimited potential and it’s good to hear how they are being supported through the many Hurunui Youth programmes, as well as the opportunities presented by the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs programme.”
Sergeant Rob Irvine told the hui eight Police officers currently cover the district.
“The value for Police of a community hui like this is around networking and building partnerships with our local agencies, and sharing information to come up with strategies to address community issues and concerns. For example, we are looking into getting Blue Light involvement in youth programmes in the Hurunui, as well as having more discussions around crime prevention cameras in the Amberley area,” Irvine said.
North Canterbury Neighbourhood Support Manager Dalice Stewart said it was good to see so many attending who wanted to make a change in their communities. “We need more people like this – thank you for standing up for your area. Forming a street group is a great way to connect with your neighbours and reduce crime in your area. Your neighbours are the ones who are going to be there for you in an emergency, so it’s important to have a plan in place before a disaster hits.”
Irvine said the hui was a great way to remind the public to report matters to Police. “Ring 111 if it is urgent. If it’s not urgent, ring 105, come and see us or report online or through the Rurallookout app. Do not rely on social media to report crime, as we do not monitor these channels.”