A group of residents will start patrolling the streets of Patea as part of the Waverley Community Patrol.

Community patrols were established in Patea last year but petered out when the Patea Community Patrol co-ordinator left town.

However six volunteers from that group are keen to keep the patrols going.

Waverley Community Patrol co-ordinator Laraine Sole said when she first heard about a community patrol starting up in Patea, she approached those involved about training.


"And when it tipped over I said, 'How about joining with us?'"
Waverley Community Patrol was set up in 2009 and is affiliated to Community Patrols of New Zealand, which has a memorandum of understanding with the police.

"Patrolling without purpose is a waste of time, so police intel is very important," said Ms Sole. "Based on police advice, for example, we'll be particularly vigilant about an empty house that's been burgled."

While the Patea volunteers will initially be part of Waverley Community Patrol, Ms Sole said the aim was for them to form an independent patrol.

She said a combined patrol wouldn't work long term because, although they are both part of the Central police district, Waverley reports to Whanganui police and Patea to Taranaki.

But it would take six to 12 months before funding would allow them to set up independently, said Ms Sole.

"The idea that we're floating is to replace our vehicle and give it to [the Patea group] ...

When we started, Whanganui gave us their vehicle."
Waverley Community Patrol operates with 10-15 volunteers who are rostered to work four-hour shifts. Patrols happen twice a week on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights, with two volunteers working together in a marked car and while wearing high-vis vests.

There's also a day patrol once a month.

Ms Sole said all rural communities were affected by crime, and that was not helped by a downsizing of rural policing, with the station in Waverley now manned by one officer.

She said the patrol's priority was crime prevention and being eyes and ears for the police.
"That might involve sitting in the main street and making sure people are generally safe.

"Another example was a 111 call from a woman who had fled from her husband and was hiding from him. The police asked us to go and wait with her until they arrived."

Ms Sole said patrol volunteers came from all walks of life, such as retired truck driver Tony Stubbs, who has been a Waverley Community Patrol member for four years.

Mr Stubbs takes care of the patrol's car and collates statistics on their work. Last year, for example, the Waverley crew worked a total of 716 hours and covered 5395km.

Ms Sole said anyone interested in being a patrol volunteer in Waverley or Patea could contact her on 06-346 5949.