New CBD beat cop hits the streets in Palmerston North

Constable Te Ani Saunders, left, chats to people as part of her new role as Palmerston North Central City Police.

WARWICK SMITH/Things

Constable Te Ani Saunders, left, chats to people as part of her new role as Palmerston North Central City Police.

A dedicated police officer role in the central city of Palmerston North offers individuals and businesses a familiar port of call.

Constable Te Ani Saunders has taken on the new role of inner city police constable, working on things like preventing crime in the city but also giving the people of the city a point of contact.

“I’ve been showing up to retailers and just walking around chatting to the homeless and other members of the public to see how everyone is feeling and offering some reassurance if they need it,” he said.

“Some of the retailers have problems with thieves and young people. I am offering them guidance and assistance.”

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Saunders has been on the job since May and is believed to be the longest time the police have had someone dedicated to the role.

Its patch includes George St, Broadway Ave, The Plaza and Te Marae or Hine/The Square.

He said he had received a good reaction from shopkeepers and people downtown.

“Many of them say they’ve wanted it for many years.”

Saunders, who was coming from three years on the front line and had experience working with young people, said crime appeared to be down in the area and his presence would also help.

He encouraged people to report crimes in the area so the police would have an idea of ​​what was going on.

Te Ani Saunders is there to support and reassure people in the city centre.

WARWICK SMITH/Things

Te Ani Saunders is there to support and reassure people in the city centre.

“I’m putting together a guide for retailers to help them identify thieves to work with. When I talk to them all, they don’t know how to deal with them or what to do. This guide will help them.”

He said he wanted to find out what the community needed.

“Reducing crime in the area is going to be the most important thing and it’s only going to get more involved with the community and with the young people, so the police won’t just be seen as negative.”

Manawatū’s tactical prevention manager Joe Salisbury said Saunders’ experience put her in a good position to work with people in the city and she had already built strong relationships.

“The role has been designed to provide support and reassurance to people who live, work or visit our CBD, but also provides a single point of contact between the CBD community and the police.”

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