The Raglan Community Patrol has a new vehicle to use for its patrols around the streets of Raglan.

The organisation has managed to obtain a better car – a little silver Nissan – after doing some fundraising and getting the help of sponsors such as Jim Wright Nissan, the Gallagher Group, the Raglan Club and WEL Network.

The car is now out on the streets of Raglan sporting the Community Patrol NZ logo and its blue and white stripes.

Raglan Community Patrol spokesperson Narina Hurst says so far this year the patrol vehicle has travelled 1884km over a 584hr period, with two members doing two-hour shifts at a time.

“We all care about our community and we want to be of assistance to the police,” Narina says.

The local group has been operating for 13 years and currently has about 17 active members, mostly retired people, but is keen to have new, younger members too. Members have to undergo police checks and meet strict criteria before being selected.

Then they have to do an in-depth training programme, where patrol members are taught that their job is to observe and never get directly involved in anything they see while on patrol.

“We are the eyes and ears for the police and we report to the police any [suspicious] activities,” she says.

Members have to document everything they observe and pass on their information to police about “things that don’t seem right”. The police sometimes call upon them to do special patrols too.

New Raglan policeman Duncan Bourke says the community patrol is an invaluable part of the rural police team and their patrols help prevent crime.

“Rural policing is a challenging environment so the more eyes and ears we have will help keep the community safer.”

Constable Bourke says in the short time he has been in Raglan, he has been impressed at the way the community comes together, such as with the community patrol.

Rachel Benn