Police build on relationships with school

Aranui’s neighbourhood policing team is always out and about in the community, ­whether on push bikes, by foot or in their “ice cream truck”.

But it has been a busy year for the team as it works with Haeata Community Campus to help build positive connections between police and students.

The team has been stationed in Aranui for nearly two years with the objective of reducing crime and victimisation, while also strengthening connections with the community and supporting existing initiatives, organisations and educational providers.

The team’s involvement at the school takes on several roles throughout the week.

Senior Constable Barry Campbell said boxing is one of the consistent ways of connecting with younger students.

He said police support boxing coach Jamie Roberts’ weekly programme, A Town Boxing.

“His programme is bringing about positive change in our young people,” he said.

The team sees the value of connecting with young people through sport, such as early morning basketball, waka ama, and boxing. Sausage sizzles and having fun are also key methods of breaking down barriers and building rapport.

Connections are also being built through the police mentoring programme, which has been developed this year within the Haeata Services Programme. It allows students the opportunity to meet, interact with and learn from police officers from a variety of roles and backgrounds.

“The students get to see that it is possible for them to achieve and to learn about the different areas of policing that they might be interested in,” Senior Constable Campbell said.

He has worked in Aranui for the past eight years and describes the community as being incredibly tight-knit and resilient.

He credits the team for taking every opportunity to be involved in connecting with students at Haeata and the wider community.