Currently our committee consists of; Chair: Pauline Evans, Treasurer: Ron Taylor, Minute Secretary: Ann Wattam Committee Members Keith Granger, Patrick Hunter, Erney Searle, Senior Constable Mike West, Constable Alana Whiteman, Tanya Clover, Adam Jefferies, and the staff: Co-ordinator Bruce Quedley.
Also invited to attend are Police Liaision Officer: Senior Sergeant Graeme Hill and Rotorua Lakes Council representative: Rosemary Viskovic.
The day to day operation of NS Rotorua is in the hands of Bruce Quedley who is the part-time Co-ordinator. Bruce has been in the job since April 2012 and is a firm believer in the concept of Neighbourhood Support. Bruce’s biggest role is to setup new groups and to keep the current groups running. He also gives regular talks in the community and to the media.
History of Neighbourhood Support Rotorua
Neighbourhood Support is a concept that operates throughout the Western World. It is know by a variety of names and there are differing activities associated with the concept in each country where it operates.
It was first introduced to New Zealand by the Police in 1980 as “Neighbourhood Watch”, a property oriented programme, in an endeavour to reduce the rising property crime rate – and to that extent the scheme was moderately successful.
In partnership with Rotorua Police, Neighbourhood Support Rotorua, an Incorporated Society, was formed in 1995 for the purpose of implementing the fundamental goals of:
- Ensuring that Neighbourhood groups have appropriate support
- Increasing the effectiveness of Neighbourhood Groups
To this end, in 1995, a Neighbourhood Support Co-Ordinator was appointed and charged with:
Promoting the concept in the community, assisting groups to be effective in developing and maintaining the safety of their neighbourhoods, and developing effective communication between Police and Neighbourhood Support Groups. Each Group has a Street Contact who is the person through which communications from the office goes to for distribution to the members of the group such as newsletters and crime warnings.
The previous Co-ordinators have been Jan Owen (1995-2003) and Barry Fenton (2003-2012). Other staff have included Jannette Brown Committee Member/Office Manager/Treasurer from 2003-2015 and Ron Taylor Ngongotaha Co-ordinator 2007-2015. Assistant Co-ordinator Jan Matthews who joined the staff in March 2016-February 2018.
In March 2007, Neighbourhood Support launched E-Crime Alert an email based system to advise street contact people, and businesses in Rotorua District of crime in their area. It is also used by the police, when there is a car or person of interest to them. This means they have more eyes and ears looking for these cars/people as well as the police.
E-crime is expected to grow in this area. It will also be a great tool in contacting people in cases of emergency and also to let our Neighbourhood Support people know of information, that can’t always wait for the next newsletter.
Crime Prevention is not the only focus of the work there is also Emergency Preparedness with listing of details on the database which could be used in an emergency situation such as an earthquake, flood etc. The information includes skills & resources that can be used and urgent medical information. This is gathered on the Household Detail Form completed on joining and updated at least once a year by Street Contacts.
There is also is a group of volunteers who come into the police station and help us out, assembling our mailing out our newsletters and they are a valuable part of the organisation.
In 2018 there are over 9,272 Households in over 580 Groups. We have had a steady stream of new groups, but as always there are pockets of streets around Rotorua that don’t have any groups. We welcome opportunities to speak with those wishing to establish Neighbourhood Support Groups.