The Mount Roskill Community Patrol Inc. (MRCP), has for the last five years, has been helping New Zealand Police deter crime in the community patrolling several suburbs at different intervals of the week identifying areas, people and vehicles of interest that appear suspicious and reporting to Police.
The Patrol is based at the Roskill South Community Policing Centre from where each Patrol sets out for their three hours. Each Patrol consists of at least two patrollers, in uniform with the CPNZ logo, high-visibility jackets and ID driving around allocated suburbs while compiling a report for the Police.
Earlier this month a responsible community member donated a Toyota Prius Hybrid to MRCP for its patrolling activities. Previously, MRCP patrols used patrollers private vehicles of patrollers marked with magnetic CPNZ signage.
All the patrollers at MRCP are local people who came forward to help minimise crime in the community. Each patroller is Vetted by Police, provided with training as per CPNZ guidelines and commit to patrolling at least one 3 hours patrol each month.
Police, Council Representatives Vehicle Donors & Patrollers
Patrolling is usually done during evening hours and sometimes during the day time as well when the patrol visit four supermarkets, the warehouse, doing a foot patrol through the store, speaking with shoppers who may leave their bags at risk from the theft from the trolley, or visible in parked cars etc. This is done to create awareness amongst the public as well as reducing thefts.
MRCP is supported by its by members of the Puketapapa Local Board, Auckland Council, as well as MP for Mt Roskill Michael Wood and List from the National Party, Dr Parmjeet Parmar.
MRCP is headed by Tony Lau as Chairman who arranges all the patrol rosters and has been focusing on recruiting locally and Merril Bourne, who is the Secretary and Coordinator of the organisation, handling applications, arranging training, uniforms, IDs, fundraising, liaising with the Police at Roskill and Avondale, the local board and other community groups.
MRCP regularly visits some known trouble spots in the community covering Lynfield, Hillsborough, Three Kings, Balmoral, Sandringham, Owairaka and Mt Roskill with the aim that the presence of a marked patrolling vehicle will have a deterrent effect on criminal activities.
Patrollers with Donated Vehicle
Enumerating some of its successes, Mrs Bourne said a few years ago, a particular area of ‘interest’ down a driveway of a commercial area which was found to be well-lit part of a parking space but not visible from the street and often found a group of young males loitering in a corner, acting suspiciously, which was immediately called into the Police. Over several months, Police and future Patrols added that particular property in their patrol route as it was believed there might have been illegal activities taking place there. The constant presence of ‘marked’ vehicles driving into that resulted in this group moving on.
“We are also some times asked to aid Police by patrolling a new area, which can be outside our regular patrol route, as occurred recently, where a vast number of cars parked by visitors to One Tree Hill and Mt Eden were being broken into, and Mount Roskill, Onehunga, Blockhouse Bay/Green Bay and Mt Albert/Pt Chev patrols all extended their patrol areas to visit these troubled sites during the day patrols over the past few months, and we were delighted to receive feedback from the Police to say that our presence in the areas had a marked effect in a drop of that criminal activity,” Mrs Bourne added.
Earlier this week, Patrol members, Police, Puketapapa Local Board members led by Ella Kumar, Bobby Shen and Fiona Lai, along with two new recruits met with the donors Sangeeta and Venkat Mankal (from Quality Care Dental outside Roskill South Community Policing Centre for them to handed over the Toyota Prius to the Patrol.
“It was as a result of having attended local meetings such as the Ella Kumar’s Business Voice and other Community Events that I met the donors Sangeeta & Venkat Mankal who have very generously donated the vehicle,” Mrs Bourne added.