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25 February 2016
A concerted effort from Ashburton agencies to address late night violence in the Central Business District has been a success, according to Senior Sergeant Scott Banfield.
At today's Ashburton District Council meeting, Mr Banfield told Councillors there had been a 17 per cent decrease in disorder in the CBD in the last 12 months.
Mr Banfield said the results showed that a collaborative approach from agencies, including the Council's community safety campaign, had worked. "The change isn't the result of just one thing but the contribution all agencies are making. We're doing things differently now in Ashburton."
The collaborative approach grew from a working group, called together by Ashburton Mayor Angus McKay, to address late night violence issues in the CBD.
During his address to Council, Mr Banfield mentioned the support Police were receiving from Town Watch during weekends and busy nights in the CBD. "Some weekends are quiet but on others we are working very closely with them. Together we are increasing how effective we can be," he said.
Mr Banfield said the work the Council had done this summer to encourage people to keep themselves safe in the CBD and on the way home had helped to set the standard for the district. "The billboards, media coverage and social media have all assisted in reinforcing that we are taking a different approach to community safety now."
Total recorded crime in Ashburton has also dropped by 14 per cent in the Ashburton district in the last year and there has been a 23 per cent decrease in violent crime. Mr Banfield said the Police had also been focusing on issues related to drug supply and drug dealing.