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Neighbourhood team serious about safe fun

Neighbourhood team serious about safe fun

The recently-established Glen Innes Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) takes road safety issues seriously...So serious it's facilitating a day of fun, games, competitions, giveaways, prizes and a barbeque. Not your usual 'enforcement' approach, but a positive way forward in line with the Prevention First policing strategy.

The NPT was set up in Glen Innes last November. Its goal is to build relationships with its community, identify which issues are affecting people and develop ways to help increase peoples' feelings of safety and confidence in their Police, as well as to reduce the actual harm occurring in the community.

"When we began walking the streets and talking to people we noticed there were a number of children riding bicycles but not wearing helmets," says Constable Alfred Faireka.

"Also, some of the bikes were alarmingly unsafe for their riders. We delved into why kids weren't wearing helmets. Was it lack of education, attitude, a financial issue or simply negligence?

"As we talked to other organisations like Kidsafe, Plunket and Auckland Transport, some other priority safety issues also came up about child car seats and blind driveway awareness and the idea of 'Kids' Safety Day' was born."

The event will be held on Saturday February 25, from 9am to 12pm in the Line Road car park between the Glen Innes Police station and the library.

"We're inviting all families in the area with children 12 years and under to come and enjoy a fun day with their local Police.

"We've organised a bouncy castle, a sausage sizzle, Ronald McDonald, a 'pimp my ride' bicycle decorating workshop, a puncture repair service, bicycle mechanics and helmet inspections from Bike Barn, prizes and safety gear to give away, new helmet trade-in, Plunket's 'Clicky Ricky' child car seat demonstration, Kidsafe's blind driveway workshop, Cook Islands, Niuean and Fijian performances, live rapping, and two bicycles (courtesy of Bike Barn) to give away for winners of a local schools colouring competition.

"And here's the best part - it's all absolutely free! Auckland Transport have come on board to really make this event happen, saying that if anyone's helmet no longer fits or is damaged or unsafe, bring it in and, subject to inspection, they'll replace it with a brand new one... free!"

Constable Faireka has been policing in the area for more than seven years and is passionate about working with the community.

"None of us wants to see any of our kids getting hurt. While we can't stop all accidents happening, we can greatly reduce their frequency and the harm caused if we think ahead, think smarter and think safer."


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