Volunteers prove their worth

Tuesday January 15, 2019 Written by Published in Crime
Takitumu’s Voluntary Police Constables Tai Nicholas, Sonny Williams, Ali Macquarie, and Alfred Rere. 19011423 Takitumu’s Voluntary Police Constables Tai Nicholas, Sonny Williams, Ali Macquarie, and Alfred Rere. 19011423

Takitumu’s volunteer police officers were kept busy over the Christmas and New Year’s period working diligently to keep the area’s roads free of dangerous and reckless drivers.

 

The volunteers set up police check points almost every night of the holiday period, which ran from December 21 to January 5.

The officers dealt with a heavy flow of traffic over the 15-day period.

A number of motorists were issued with warnings or were forbidden to continue driving.

There are a few reasons motorists may be forbidden to continue driving. These include excess breath alcohol, no helmet, and driving on a learner’s licence. 

Over the holiday period the volunteer police told 47 drivers that they were unable to continue driving.

A member of the voluntary team, Alistair Macquarie, told Cook Islands News that over the holiday period a number of motorists were forbidden from driving for a combination of reasons, for example driving on a learners’ licence in conjunction with driving without a helmet.

Saturday December 22 and Monday December 31 were the two busiest nights of the season.

On the 22nd 11 drivers were stopped and prohibited from operating their motor vehicles, and New Year’s Eve saw 17 drivers barred from driving for the rest of night.

The New Year got off to a better start, with no motorist being forbidden to drive on both Tuesday January 1 and Saturday January 5, the two lowest figures of the entire holiday period.

Last weekend, the Takitumu volunteer police officers noted a sharp increase in the number of sober drivers, going from only a couple per night to 12 on the 4th and 18 on the 5th.

Macquarie told Cook Islands News: “These vehicles with sober drivers were full of passengers under the influence of alcohol. This was a very good response, one that we happily recorded.

“In addition to this, on both those nights we also noted a couple of sober drivers heading into town to pick up friends who had been drinking.”

When the volunteer police service began in October there were up to five “Hot Offenders” (such as known thieves) heading into the Takitumu area on weekend nights. As of late, the recorded number of Hot Offenders entering the Takitumu area has dropped to one on weekend nights, says Macquarie.

He says the Takitumu volunteer police officers will continue to safeguard the roads of Takitumu on weekends throughout 2019.

            - Teherenui Koteka

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