ON LOOKOUT: The Papatoetoe Crimewatch Patrol is looking for more volunteer drivers like members Ken Thorn, left, and John Bennett to man its community patrol car during the weekdays.
Do you have a spare two hours a week, a full driver’s licence and the desire to help make your community safe?
If you answered yes to all three questions the Papatoetoe Crimewatch patrol is desperate to hear from you.
The organisation needs more volunteer drivers to man its community patrol car which hits the beat Monday to Friday for two hours in the mornings and afternoons.
Working in pairs, volunteers keep an eye out for anything suspicious while patrolling an area from State Highway 1 to SH20 and from Massey Rd in Mangere to Cavendish Drive in Manukau.
The car is based at the Papatoetoe police station and to date the organisation has around 20 drivers. They hope another 20 will join the team.
Driver Ken Thorn has been part of the Crimewatch Patrol for the past 10 years and says he simply wants to help keep his community safe.
“I always wanted to be a cop but I was too short so this gave me the chance to help both police and the community,” he says.
“We basically keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary or suspicious and if we see anything we report back to police or call 111.”
Fellow driver John Beckett says the patrol is simply the “eyes and the ears of the police” and does not get involved in confrontation.
Anyone with a full licence who can operate an automatic is able to be a volunteer driver but people will need to pass a police check first, Mr Beckett says.
Age is no barrier whatsoever to becoming a volunteers – Mr Beckett is 72 and Mr Thorn is 74.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of people our age sitting at home just thinking `what the heck can we do?’ This is something they can do,” Mr Beckett says.
“They don’t even have to drive – they can sit in the passenger seat and observe. But if needed it would help if they had their licence.”
Mr Thorn says all volunteers receive training from senior members of the patrol.
And along with keeping the community safe, volunteers get the chance to meet and mix with new people.
“We all get on real well together and there have been a lot of friendships made through this patrol,” Mr Thorn says.
Contact us for more information about becoming a volunteer driver.