The Coffee with a Cop sessions in Stratford are proving popular with residents, says senior constable Simon Howard.
Simon and his colleagues Senior Constable Jono Erwood and Sergeant Paula Drewery were at the Inkpot Cafe in Stratford in December for the month's Coffee with a Cop session, and say they all received plenty of positive feedback from the event.
Jono says they answered several questions regarding traffic rules this time.
"One of the good questions we were asked was regarding SH43 as it goes out to Toko. The person was unsure who has to give way at the one-lane bridge just past the cemetery if you have a car going east coming off the bridge and a car coming into Stratford turning off Beaconsfield Road. We were happy to explain the person at a controlled intersection must give way, so in this case the person on Beaconsfield Road must give way to the car coming east."
Online and phone-based scams were raised as well, says Paula.
"Unfortunately we are seeing an increase in the ways scammers try to get your details and access to your money, so we encourage everyone to be careful and not give out their details over the phone or online if they are unsure."
Jono says the Central Taranaki Safe Community Trust newsletter was a helpful tool in the battle against scammers.
"Alerts can be sent out to everyone who has signed up for that newsletter as soon as we hear about a new scam in the area, so we have a quick way to let people know as soon as we know."
Simon says someone asked if it was ok to call the police if a relative with dementia wandered off.
"Absolutely. You are never being a nuisance. Give us a call and we can help find the person quickly."
Paula says a lot of people asked about the correct use of the *555 option to call police.
"It is a great way to let police know immediately about unsafe behaviour on the road. That can be children not strapped in properly, speed, a distracted driver or someone behaving as though they are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any form of bad driving can be reported this way and it comes straight though as a job to local police so we will follow it up straight away."
Simon says bad driving can be contagious, explaining people often get caught up in breaking road rules themselves to get past an unsafe driver.
"Everyone needs to do their bit to ensure we all get home safely after being out on our roads, so use *555 and keep us informed."
■ The next Coffee with a Cop is at Fenton Street Art Collective on Thursday 28 February 2019 at10.30am. All are welcome. Come along and chat to local police officers serving your community.