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Councillor volunteers to prevent crime

Published: 2 July 2018
Councillor Sharon Stewart saw first hand how volunteers are the heart of her community.

Hitting the beat for a few hours with the Botany Crime Watch Patrol gave Howick Ward Councillor Sharon Stewart an even greater appreciation of the value of volunteers.

“They do a great job being the eyes and ears of the community and working in partnership with police to keep people and their property safe and to report suspicious activity.

“I have known about the patrol for some time but it was a great privilege to spend a few hours with them and see their work in action,” she said after her time patrolling with the group.

Councillor volunteers to prevent crime (1)
Councillor Sharon Stewart spent an afternoon with the Botany Crime Watch Patrol.

She was one of several councillors to accept the invitation from Volunteering Auckland to partner with volunteer organisations in their communities as part of National Volunteer Week (17-23 June).

The theme of the week was 'Volunteers: The Heart of our Community – By many, the work will be completed, Mā tini, mā mano, ka rapa te whai', reminding communities of the central role of volunteering in keeping our communities alive.

It aimed to show that volunteering is good for the volunteers, those they are helping and the community.

Cr Stewart couldn’t agree more: “I just look around my community and the vast amount of work that gets done by volunteers – Howick would not be the same without them.”

About Botany Crime Watch Patrol

Established in 2003, the group has around 30 volunteers covering a large area including Botany, Mission Heights, Flat Bush, Ormiston, Golflands Dannemora and Burswood.

Operations manager Margaret Westwood says observing and reporting suspicious behaviour and education are its key roles.

“If we see something happening we report it, we don’t get involved. Our biggest thing is crime prevention, particularly thefts from cars.

“It’s still surprising the number of people who leave things in their vehicles that can be seen by a potential offender thinking it’s not valuable or it will never happen to them.”

And with such a large area to cover, Margaret says the group is always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in joining in, contact email Margaret Westwood.

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Howick Community