Officers assist 70 times in first week
Christchurch’s Safe City Officers assist 70 times in first week
Christchurch’s new Safe City Officers assisted with almost 70 requests for assistance and information during their first week patrolling Christchurch’s central city streets.
Up to 12 officers, working in pairs, will walk the central city streets from 9pm to 5.30am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights helping to raise residents and visitors perception of safety in the central city after dark.
In the first week of operation, Council Community Support Manager Catherine McDonald says the officers assisted with 15 alcohol-related incidents – many being breaches of the liquor ban – four incidents of disorder and three fights.
“Almost one-third of the requests were from members of the public seeking information or assistance.”
She says the busiest night for the Safe City Officers was on Friday when they assisted on 15 occasions.
The Safe City Officers are operating in areas of the central city which have already been identified as high-risk for criminal offending and anti-social behaviour.
Mrs McDonald says the Officers prime roles are to provide people with information and assistance; deter crime and anti-social behaviour through their visibility; collaborate and provide information to the police, Council and other agencies; and help identify hazards and other issues to help create a safe, vibrant night-time environment.
Six officers were on duty last weekend, with numbers building over the next couple of weekends to 12 for New Zealand Cup and Show Week.
Safe City Officers are one of the new programmes introduced by Council to improve the public’s perception of safety in the central city after last year’s Quality of Life in 12 of New Zealand’s Cities report found Christchurch had the lowest percentage of residents who felt safe in their city centre after dark.