30 August 2016
Waipa District Council is asking New Zealand Police and local MPs to front up and explain their position on local policing levels.
At the Council meeting today elected members shared concerns from Cambridge residents about low police numbers in the town, particularly at night. Cambridge ward councillors said some Cambridge residents were feeling fearful and vulnerable and wanted the police presence in the town beefed up.
Many councillors have supported a petition circulating in Cambridge calling for the 'immediate reinstatement of a full complement of front line police officers (at least 10) and 24/7 service at the Cambridge police station'. The petition has already attracted more than 4,000 signatories.
Waipa mayor Jim Mylchreest said there was very genuine concern from residents in Cambridge who felt too reliant on police in Te Awamutu and Hamilton. He said rather than "contribute to a talkfest" the Council had an opportunity to do something constructive to help alleviate concerns.
"Rather than wring our hands, let's do something practical. For a start, we can get some facts on the table and make sure the right people are in the room for us to be able to share our concerns and properly consider any next steps," he said.
As a result of discussions today, Council will invite senior representatives from the New Zealand Police plus local Members of Parliament to attend a meeting in Te Awamutu next Tuesday (September 6) morning. Petition organisers would also be invited to the meeting which would be held as part of a normal committee meeting.
Police would be asked to detail the level of police resources now available in the Waipa district and the trends associated with the level, type and resolution rate of reported crimes.
Media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of council) 027 507 7599