COMMUNITY

Police mucking in with community clean-up

Wednesday 18 April 2012, 3:19PM
By New Zealand Police
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LEVIN

An area of Levin is set to receive a make-over on Saturday (21 April) in an initiative led by Levin South Neighbourhood Policing Team and dubbed Project K2.

Its purpose is to visibly improve an area of Levin south by mucking in with the Horowhenua District Council, volunteer parents and children from Tai Toko School and kindergarten, other community groups and the local residents.

A morning of cleaning up the community's public areas, private properties, and streets is planned, followed by a community celebration in the Morgan Crescent Reserve with music and family activities - all of which have been donated by local businesses and community groups.

The purpose of the project is to practically apply the principles of 'prevention first' policing, by fostering a sense of commitment and pride among local people for their community, and to encourage a sense of empowerment and ownership of their surroundings.

The Levin South Neighbourhood Policing Team, made up of a sergeant and four constables, has committed months of groundwork to building up a positive relationship between police officers and residents, including many people who have had a long held reluctance to interact with police.

The tremendous community backing and support Project K2 has received to date is a testament to the success of that work. A large number of residents have expressed praise for the concept and are looking forward to it as a major event for them.

Sgt John Battersby said: "This is a rare opportunity for police officers to get alongside members of the community and see their environment as a living, human place. Months of planning and preparation have gone into this, and the energy of the officers involved is obvious for anyone to see.

"We are looking forward to this as a really worthwhile and genuine opportunity to show the community we mean what we say about tackling the root causes of crime. Encouraging community ownership and pride is a fundamental first step."

There is a briefing for everyone involved at 8.30am at Tai Koko School, Kinross Street, Levin. The clean-up kicks off at 9am until 12.30pm with the street party scheduled for 2pm to 4pm at the Morgan Crescent Reserve. The streets involved are Kinross Street and Morgan Crescent, Levin.