Community Patrols of New Zealand calls for more volunteers to step forward to help with both crime prevention and crime reduction.
By Ricky Matthew
AUCKLAND – In a move to bolster community safety in a time of rising crime rates, ‘Community Patrols of New Zealand’ (CPNZ) is calling for more volunteers to step forward so that they can work alongside the police to make their community a safer environment.
Formed in 2002, CPNZ supports over 4,000 volunteers in over 150 affiliated community patrols throughout New Zealand. The organisation is funded at a national level by the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand Police, who have partnered with CPNZ to act as their extra pair of “roving eyes and ears” on the ground within high-risk communities.
Every month, Dr. Prasanth Pavithran, a medical professional and volunteer at CPNZ, hangs up his doctor’s coat to don high-visibility gear to patrol vulnerable communities and neighbourhoods. “My wife and I spend about two to four hours every month patrolling our area in our patrol car. It’s all volunteer work,” Prasanth explains.
This commitment reflects the core values of CPNZ, as they actively engage in night patrols, uncovering sensitive areas and gathering valuable intelligence, particularly regarding drug-related activities.
“I am here for the community,” says Prasanth. “I do night patrols, so I do 7 to 11 in the evening and what we do is we go to areas which are a little sensitive. We find a lot of Intel about drug deals and other crimes.”
Their patrol car, although resembling a police vehicle, is distinct in its mission. “When we arrive with our patrol car they begin to disperse,” Dr. Prasanth emphasizes. “We’ve seen people just run away because of the car and the flashing lights.” This demonstration of community presence sends a powerful message and helps build safer neighbourhoods.
CPNZ is a diverse group with members from various backgrounds, including Europeans and Asians. Dr. Prasanth underlines the importance of expanding this diversity, particularly reaching out to the Filipino community who are yet to join his group in West Auckland. “We don’t have any Filipinos at the moment. I’m keen to have the Filipino community come on board because we need diversity in order to reach all communities so we can make New Zealand safer,” he shares.
CPNZ does not operate in isolation. They collaborate with various organizations including the police, ‘Neighbourhood Support NZ’, the ‘National Emergency Management Agency’ (NEMA) and local and national government. This interconnected approach strengthens their mission of preventing crime and reducing harm through active patrolling, intelligence and observation.
CPNZ offers a robust training program to equip their volunteers with the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute effectively to community safety.
They envision a New Zealand where everyone feels safe and are determined to work with the police and other agencies to achieve this goal. Prasanth Pavithran welcomes new recruits to join the mission and can be reached at 021372881.
The unwavering dedication of ‘Community Patrols of New Zealand’ and their collaborative efforts with the police stand as a beacon of hope in the realm of community safety. Their presence, commitment, and diversity are fundamental in making Auckland a safer place for all. This alliance proves that by working together, we can create a safer and more secure future for our communities.
For those interested in joining the patrols, Dr. Prasanth Pavithran extends a warm invitation to be a part of this community superhero team, making Auckland a better place for all. The heroes are calling, will you join them?