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SafeCity Angel initiative a first

SafeCity Angel initiative a first

Natacha and Trissell

An Angel to keep watch over me is exactly what the Palmerston North CBD has in the form of Natacha O'Brien-Howell who is the SafeCity Angel working with young woman to make them aware of the real harm intoxication can bring, as well as how to stay safe in the city.

The SafeCity Angel project is a multi-agency run initiative by the Safety Advisory Board and supported by the Manawatü Police, ACC, Youth One Stop Shop (YOSS), SafeCity Trust and the Palmerston North City Council.

The main focus of the Angel is to reduce alcohol related harm and victimisation to young women aged 16 - 24 years caused by excess alcohol consumption.

"Time and time again we see young people being harmed from drinking too much. You can have a good night out but it's all drinking responsibly and looking after your mates. Know your limits and stick to them. By doing this you protect yourself from harm and can keep an eye on your mates," Inspector Brett Calkin, Manawatu Police Prevention Manager.

The Angel's accompanies SafeCity Hosts and sometimes Police officers on Friday and Saturday nights between 10pm to 4am. Natacha is a youth worker employed by YOSS.

A recent alcohol harm related survey commissioned by the Palmerston North Safety Advisory Board found that nearly half of those surveyed (both men and women) said they had a negative experience while in town on a Friday or Saturday night. The most common negative experience was doing something they later regretted.

"This is a unique concept and has the potential to reduce alcohol harm and help young woman keep themselves safe," Inspector Calkin.


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