Police are encouraging the K’ Rd Community Safety Working Group to take more of an ‘ambassador’ role rather than setting up a ‘patrol’ on the busy Auckland strip. The group emerged from the lgbti community after a rash of unrelated violent incidents on K’ Rd, which hosts the majority of the city’s gay venues. After feedback from the community, the group produced a Keep Safe Pamphlet and began a series of meetings with police and Government officials working on a street initiative. “During this period we applied to start a safety patrol on K’ Rd through the police and Safety Patrols NZ,” spokesman Gerard Marychurch says. The application was denied and the group was encouraged to adopt an ambassador programme by people it met with, including Labour MP Jacinda Ardern. However, despite at first deciding to go ahead with the ambassador idea, it probed the community patrol idea further, meeting with Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye and Auckland Central Police who told them to submit a proposal for a car patrol, which they did earlier this year. Police Minister Anne Tolley has responded, and while she has commended the group for its interest in crime prevention and public safety, she says received feedback from police that they do not support a patrol. She says they are concerned about the safety of the patrol itself. Tolley adds there is a standard deployment of police in the area on Friday and Saturday nights, CCTV coverage of the area and points out Asian Safety Patrollers and Maori Wardens only cover the area when accompanied by police. “Police’s preference was that this group should pursue an ambassadorial, rather than patrolling, role. This would mean being visible and providing wide-ranging information to visitors and patrons in the main business area of Karangahape Rd.” She is urging the K’ Rd Community Safety Working Group to come up with a model which has police support.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Wednesday, 24th September 2014 - 8:37am
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