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Police bus boosts support for quake-hit suburbs

Police bus boosts support for quake-hit suburbs

Christchurch Police are stepping up their support for residents in quake-hit Avonside with a Police bus providing a presence in the area over the coming weeks.

Christchurch Central Area Commander Derek Erasmus says a "booze bus" will be pressed into service from today [Thursday 9 December], to provide a mobile community base for Police liaison with Avonside residents.

"The bus will be a regular presence in the area for a couple of days each week," says Inspector Erasmus.

"It will give residents an opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns, as well as providing a visible reminder that we're there to support and help the local community."

Police will be delivering flyers to residents, advising when they will be in the suburb and where they will be based.

They are also visiting households in the area to talk to occupants and provide information on neighbourhood watch and other support services.

Extra mobile and foot patrols, including checks on empty houses, have also been in place around other earthquake-affected areas to provide security and reassurance for residents.

The increased activity comes as Police and Christchurch City Council remind motorists to slow down when driving through earthquake-affected parts of the city - or stay away if they don't need to be there.

Police report that while the number of infringement notices issued in speed-restricted zones has reduced since the September earthquake, speeding drivers and "rubberneckers" are still causing concern for some residents.

Senior Sergeant Glenn Nalder, acting Canterbury road policing manager, says speed restrictions remain in place in damaged areas such as Avonside-Dallington.

"We've been maintaining an increased presence and carrying out enforcement in those areas since day one," he says.

"Indications are that our visibility and enforcement have had a positive impact - the number of speeding infringements issued has been reducing steadily and bus and trucking companies have been helpful in getting the message out to their drivers.

"But we do need to remind people that road conditions may be hazardous, and the speed and volume of traffic can cause problems for local residents."

ENDS

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