Open day – and taggers tagged

Police dog handlers team leader Sergeant Mark Sandford with Valko,7, and Vinnie Gibson, with Bluey, 4.

What a great turn out we had at the Cambridge station community engagement day on Saturday.

See: Full house at Police Station

I hope everyone enjoyed looking inside our new base.  I was hanging out in the custody suite and was happy that I got to meet many of you and tell you a bit about our holding cell and interview room procedures for offenders. Some of our smallest community members enjoyed having their ‘prisoner’ photos taken too.   I know however that meeting our police dog handlers (especially their dogs) and having a close up look inside a patrol car were definite favourites outside.

I would like to thank Cambridge Community Patrol and Neighbourhood Support Group for joining us and making time to highlight their services to the community. I’m told they had a good number of new people signing up and I fully encourage more to do the same (www.safercambridge.co.nz). I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to show our tug of war might later on Saturday against the fire brigade due to the postponement of the planned youth day. You can be assured we’ll still be up for the challenge when a new date is decided!

In other good news, the team have caught two lots of taggers in the act within the last two weeks. It is great to hold them to account. One was a visiting adult from Hamilton, proving not all taggers are youth and not all are local.  It’s great to now have the information linking tags to people for the future.  I have also had information about tagging at a local business and am following up on leads. Please report tagging in progress to 111 and provide as much information as possible on the offender/s and their vehicle.

My last comment for this week relates again to vehicle crashes. On Saturday afternoon I spent a couple of hours assisting with a serious vehicle crash on State Highway 29. To keep everyone safe and preserve the crash scene, a colleague and I had to blocked off the turn from State Highway 1 onto SH29, detouring traffic bound for Matamata and Tauranga onto other routes. Most motorists were understanding and continued past.

There were a few however, who caused delays and frustration unnecessarily, and risked causing a crash themselves. Despite traffic cones and a road closed sign, a police car blocking the road with flashing lights and two police officers standing in the road,  these drivers insisted on blithely continuing through the road blocks. Heading to Matamata or Tauranga, they weaved through road cones, past signs and in one case went onto the wrong side of a traffic island to do so, with just their own destination in mind.

It is often the few who cause problems for the many and this is such a case. Please pay attention to police cordons and traffic management staff. Those cones are there for a good reason.

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